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At midday: TSX, Dow drop after bad news from Europe

A trader gestures to a fellow trader during bond auction in Madrid July 19, 2012. Spain's five-year borrowing costs hit new euro-era highs at an auction on Thursday, sending the euro lower, as it struggles to convince investors it can control its finances, while France sold bonds of similar maturities at yields below 1 per cent.


Stocks are heading into the Friday midday session with moderate losses in both Canada and the U.S., as investors shrugged off relatively decent earnings from both Google Inc. and General Electric Co., and once again caught European jitters.

The S&P TSX composite index in Toronto was recently down 72 points, or .6 per cent, to 11,594.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 89 points or .7 per cent to 12,854.

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"It appears a large part of it is just further developments from Europe," says Mark Chandler, a strategist at BRC Dominion Securities, who says markets have been unnerved in part by a request from another regional government in Spain for funds.

North American investors can at least be thankful that they're not in Europe, where stocks have been in downdraft mode over worries about the sustainability of Spanish government debt.

Spain's IBEX 35 index tumbled a gut wrenching 5.8 per cent, despite winning approval from European ministers for its bank bailout package, while in Italy, another European trouble spot, shares fell 4.4 per cent.

Losses in Germany and France were both around the 2 per cent mark, while London stocks fell 1 per cent.

In Toronto, energy stocks were weaker, as crude oil dropped $1.41 (U.S.) to $91.25 a barrel on profit taking after sharp gains earlier this week.

Suncor Energy Inc. and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. both fell more than 1 per cent and were among the most heavily-traded stocks.

Former tech darling Research In Motion Ltd. continued its losing ways, down another 2.1 per cent.

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Gold prices edged higher, shrugging off early weakness, rising $2.80 to $1,584.50 an ounce, but shares in the sector were mixed.

Kinross Gold Corp. traded .25 per cent higher, while Goldcorp Inc. was unchanged and Barrick Gold Corp. lost .5 per cent,

In New York, Google bucked the general downdraft based on better than expected second quarter earnings, gaining 2.8 per cent.

GE was also in the winner's column, rising 1 per cent in recent trade, with second quarter earnings beating estimates.

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