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A truck hauls a load at Teck Resources Coal Mountain operation near Sparwood, B.C. in a handout photo. (The Canadian Press)
A truck hauls a load at Teck Resources Coal Mountain operation near Sparwood, B.C. in a handout photo. (The Canadian Press)

At the open: Markets flat despite strong earnings, manufacturing data Add to ...

The Toronto stock market was little changed Thursday as the TSX struggled to find lift, despite encouraging Chinese and European manufacturing data and strong earnings reports.

The S&P/TSX composite index declined 5.65 points to 15,388.73.

The Canadian dollar rose 0.04 of a cent to 93.25 cents (U.S.).

U.S. indexes were positive as traders digested reports from a slew of companies, including social network site Facebook and automaker Ford.

The Dow Jones industrials gained 20.58 points to 17,107.21, the Nasdaq was ahead 4.24 points to 4,477.94 and the S&P 500 index edged up 1.5 points to 1,988.51.

Resource stocks on the Toronto market were expected to take off in the wake of data showing China’s manufacturing rose in July to its highest level in 18 months.

The preliminary HSBC purchasing managers’ index rose to 52.0 in July from 50.7 in June. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

And in Europe, financial information company Markit said Thursday that its purchasing managers’ index rose to a three-month high of 54 points in July from 52.8 in June. Much of the increase was due to ongoing economic strength in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy.

Meanwhile, investors waded through a deluge of earnings reports.

In Canada, Teck Resources Limited reports a second-quarter net profit of $80-million, or 14 cents share, compared with $143-million, or 25 cents per share, a year ago. Adjusted profit, excluding items, was $72-million, or 13 cents per share, a penny better than estimates and its shares ran up $1.16 or 4.5 per cent to $26.78.

Loblaw Companies Ltd. posted a quarterly loss of $456-million, or $1.13 per share with results hit by costs involving the acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart. Adjusted earnings of 75 cents a share beat estimates by eight cents a share and its shares advanced 76 cents to $52.10.

Rogers Communications Inc. reports a second-quarter net income of $405-million, or 76 cents per diluted share, down 24 per cent from $532-million, or 93 cents, in the same quarter of 2013. Rogers shares gained $1.02 to $43.42 as its adjusted net income was $432-million, or 84 cents, which met expectations.

In the U.S., Facebook shares were up about five per cent as the social networking site beat on earnings and revenue.

Ford Motor Co. beat expectations in the second quarter as it chalked up a record profit in North America and made money in Europe for the first time in three years. Ex-items, Ford earned 40 cents per share, a dime better than forecasts and its shares were up 1.6 per cent to $18.06 (U.S.).

Recall costs chopped $1.5-billion from General Motors’ bottom line in the second quarter, cutting its net income by 85 per cent to $190-million, or 11 cents per share. GM shares fell 2.1 per cent to $36.61.

The base metals sector led advancers, up 1.36 per cent as the Chinese manufacturing data sent September copper up five cents to $3.26 a pound.

The energy sector slipped 0.2 per cent, while September crude declined 11 cents to $103.01 a barrel.

The gold sector was the biggest decliner, down 1.45 per cent while August gold was down $6.50 to $1,298.20 an ounce.

In other corporate developments, Bombardier Aerospace president and CEO Guy Hachey is retiring amid a restructuring of operations at the aerospace company that will result in the layoff of 1,800 employees. Hachey was responsible for the development of Bombardier’s new CSeries of jetliners, which has undergone several delays and is now expected to be delivered in the second half of next year. Bombardier also said Wednesday that economic sanctions imposed on Russia could have an impact on the timeline of the company’s plans to set up a plant in the country. Its shares added two cents to $3.76.


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