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(Deborah Baic)
(Deborah Baic)

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"When comparing the 2008 meltdown to the 2011 selloff, it looks like markets are 'shooting first' and 'ask questions later,'" he said.

Economy grows Canada's economy kicked off the third quarter with growth in July of 0.3 per cent, following a bad second quarter.

Manufacturing and mining were the main drivers, though other sectors also gained, The Globe and Mail's Jeremy Torobin reports. The factory sector grew 1.4 per cent, rebounding from three straight months of contraction, Statistics Canada said. Mining output also climbed, by 2.9 per cent, largely on rebounds for copper, lead and zinc mining after production troubles had slowed things down.

On the other side, construction contracted 0.3 per cent, and the home resale market slipped 1.1 per cent.

"Overall, a healthy gain – although recent indicators suggest some potential deceleration in the following months, which should leave [third-quarter]GDP at around 2 per cent annualized," said Emanuella Enenajor of CIBC World Markets.

Economist Krishen Rangasamy of National Bank of Canada said a technical recession - that would be marked by another contract in the third quarter, which ends today - appears "highly unlikely."

"Sectors of the economy that were hit hard in [the second quarter] because of temporary factors, like autos, are now bouncing back," he said.

"The good handoff from June and the strong start to [the third quarter] puts Canada on track for growth of roughly 2 per cent annualized in the third quarter. Our own concerns are mostly about [the fourth quarter] given the slump in business and consumer confidence and a slow moving U.S. economy, as well as next year when fiscal drag is expected to hit on both sides of the 49th parallel."

Minmetals bids for Anvil China's Minetals Resources Ltd. is taking another run at a resources company.

The Chinese concern is bidding $1.3-billion, or $8 a share in cash, for Anvil Mining Ltd. . This time, it's a friendly deal, The Globe and Mail's Brenda Bouw reports.

Several months ago, Minmentals was outbid by Barrick Gold Corp. after it launched a hostile offer for Equinox Minerals Ltd.

Anvil owns the Kinsevere project in the copper-rich Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and this would mark the first foray into Africa by Minmetals.

What ails Europe To get a sense of what's wrong with Europe, look no further than the comments today from the president of the European Commission.

Jose Manuel Barroso told a German newspaper that a proposal from Germany and France - they want regular meetings of EU to effectively manage the economy - won't work and is an "illusion."

Whether Mr. Barosso is right or wrong isn't the issue here. Rather, his comments are yet another sign that the continent's leaders can't get their act together, and certainly aren't sending signs of unity to jittery markets.

There are several developments again today in the debt crisis that is hobbling the 17-member euro zone:

  • Spain nationalized three banks.
  • The inspectors from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund who are reviwing Greece's plans, a key step in getting more bailout money, had to reschedule a meeting today because civil servants were occupying a ministry building.
  • Portugal's statistics agency revised last year's deficit to a higher 9.8 per cent of gross domestic product.

There had been a sense of relief in the monetary union after Germany's Bundestag voted to support a beefed-up rescue fund, which must be ratified by all 17 countries. That clearly didn't last long, though Austria approved it today.

"The biggest obstacle is Slovakia where they are due to vote on 25th October and where the government is struggling to muster support, against a fierce backdrop of opposition from certain elements in the opposition parties," said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

"While markets breathed a shallow sigh of relief that Europe’s biggest economy is now on board for this particular change, everyone knows the problem has once again been pushed out into the future again. There is also the added problem that voters within the various European countries are now waking up to the fact that this could well be a problem without an end, and without any indication what the final bill is likely to be."

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