By Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press
TORONTO – The Toronto Stock Market stayed relatively flat Tuesday as it was dragged down by dropping commodity prices and earnings reports from a number of big-name companies. The S&P/TSX composite index was down 0.7 points at 12,474.52, while the Canadian dollar climbed 0.18 of a cent to 99.50 cents US.
The resource-heavy TSX initially opened lower, then jumped back and forth between positive and negative territory throughout the morning. The TSX Venture Exchange was down 3.87 points to 963.51.
Analyst Kash Pashootam of Raymond James said a downward trend in commodities looks like it’s here to stay — at least for a while.
“We’re seeing a continuation of the slowdown in growth in the commodity space,” he said from Ottawa. “We’re in the late innings of the commodities cycle, and the market is looking for conviction before commodity prices go up.”
Pashootam says the markets are also watching for several major reports due out of China this week, which will indicate how the world’s second-largest economy is doing.
If the reports are positive it will likely drive up commodities. But if, as expected, they indicated a continuing slowdown, that will maintain a damper on prices.
U.S. markets were positive, with the Dow Jones industrials up 39.21 points at 15,008.10 — again hitting the 15,000 mark after reaching that threshold for the first time on Friday. That was also the case with the S&P 500, which advanced 3.63 points to 1,621.13 after climbing above 1,600 for the first time on Friday as well.
Both indexes hit their record highs following the release of better-than-expected job numbers in the U.S.
The Nasdaq was up 6.55 points to 3,399.52.
Meanwhile, commodity prices appeared to weaken, with June gold bullion falling $22.60 to US$1,445.40 an ounce and July copper down two cents at US$3.29 a pound.
The June crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange faded 68 cents to US$95.58 a barrel.