Toronto stock market up slightly after economic worries inflict sharp losses

The Toronto stock market was up slightly Monday with traders not inclined to do much after worries about the pace of economic growth erased all the TSX’s gains since the beginning of the year.The S&P/TSX composite index gained 17.75 points to 12,349.6 at mid-morning following five losing sessions. The index is down from where it ended 2012 at about 12,433.The Canadian dollar was down 0.23 of a cent to 98.13 cents US.U.S. markets were lower as traders looked ahead to quarterly earnings from resource giant Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) after the close. The release of Alcoa’s earnings is regarded as the start to the quarterly earnings season while the aluminum company itself is regarded as an important gauge of economic growth as its products are used in everything from appliances to vehicles to aircraft.Analysts expect Alcoa to post earnings of eight cents per share, two cents less than a year ago, reflecting aluminum prices that are at five month lows. Its shares inched up two cents to $8.26.The Dow Jones industrial average fell 58.59 points to 14,506.66, the Nasdaq composite index was 6.33 points lower at 3,197.53 and the S&P 500 index was down 3.91 points at 1,549.37.The TSX found relief from a 0.5 per cent rise in the telecom sector as BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) rose 33 cents to $46.53.Commodity prices were generally higher after losing ground last week.The gold sector was ahead 0.4 per cent after falling more than seven per cent last week amid lower prices for bullion and gold stocks under pressure because of rising costs. June bullion in New York slipped 20 cents to US$1,575.70 an ounce. Agnico Eagle Mines (TSX:AEM) was up 25 cents to C$38.95.The base metals component was down slightly while May copper gained two cents to US$3.37 a pound after miners in Chile, the world’s biggest producer, said they would announce a nationwide strike on Monday. Economic worries sent copper to eight month lows last week and the mining sector down almost three per cent. First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) gave back 23 cents to C$19.06.The energy sector was ahead 0.37 per cent while the June crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 42 cents to US$93.12 a barrel. Prices fell almost five per cent after data late last week showed that crude in storage in the U.S. was at its highest level since 1990 even though refiners had begun to ramp up gasoline production to get ready for the summer driving season. Cenovus Energy (TSX:CVE) climbed seven cents to C$30.42.Consumer staples led decliners with food company Saputo (TSX:SAP) down 80 cents to $49.26.The Toronto stock market lost 3.25 per cent last week in the wake of purchasing managers data from China that missed expectations and disappointing reads on the American manufacturing and service sectors.The week was capped off by jobs data from Canada and the U.S. that widely missed expectations, raising doubts about the pace of economic growth and putting fresh pressure on resource stocks.New York markets on the other hand have managed to hold on to the strong gains netted so far this year amid a resurgent housing market and continued stimulus measures from the U.S. Federal Reserve.The Dow ended last week flat but is still up 11 per cent year to date.As well as a run of earnings this week, investors hope to get a better idea from the U.S. Federal Reserve about whether the central bank plans to withdraw some of its monetary stimulus. Minutes to the last policy meeting of the Fed are due to be published Wednesday.European markets advanced amid signs that Europe’s largest economy is stabilizing after a contraction in the fourth quarter. German industrial output rose 0.5 per cent in February from January, when it contracted 0.6 per cent. That reading was higher than the 0.3 per cent gain economists had expected.London’s FTSE 100 index gained 0.35 per cent, Frankfurt’s DAX was up 0.13 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 advanced 0.27 per cent.Earlier in Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo shot up 2.8 per cent to close at 13,192.59, its highest close since August 2008.Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.4 per cent to close at lowest level since November 2012 as tensions between the two Koreas remained elevated. North Korea has for weeks been threatening military or other action to punish South Korea and the U.S. for holding joint military drills.On the corporate front, General Electric Co. has agreed to buy the oilfield equipment maker Lufkin Industries Inc. for $3.1 billion, furthering an effort by GE to grow its oil and gas operations. The companies valued the deal at $3.3 billion, which includes $200 million in debt to be assumed by GE. GE shares were off three cents to US$22.89.Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) and a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles have teamed up to buy the Blackspring Ridge wind generation project near Lethbridge, Alta., on a 50-50 basis from Greengate Power Corp. Financial details of the transactions weren’t disclosed in Monday’s announcement. When completed, the Blackspring project will have 166 turbines, making it the biggest wind power project in Western Canada. Enbridge shares edged up 31 cents to $45.61. read more

West Indies bowlers strike after DowrichHolder stand

File photo: Jason Holder (on the right with the bat in his hand)BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (AFP) — Shane Dowrich and Jason Holder both scored centuries before the West Indies bowlers struck four times to strengthen their grip on the second Test against Zimbabwe on Wednesday.After Dowrich and Holder shared a record 212-run stand for the eighth wicket to carry the West Indies to a first-innings total of 448 all out on the fourth morning, fast bowler Kemar Roach picked up two wickets before lunch.Pacer Shannon Gabriel and legspinner Devendra Bishoo followed up with a wicket apiece in the second session before Peter Moor and Sikandar Raza steadied the innings to take Zimbabwe to tea on 66 for four, still trailing the West Indies by 56 runs.Zimbabwe’s chances of ending an 11-match losing streak in Tests had looked good when Raza’s maiden five-wicket haul reduced West Indies to 230 for seven on the third afternoon at Queens Sports Club.But Dowrich and Holder constructed the West Indies’ highest eighth-wicket partnership in history, guiding the visitors to stumps on 374 for seven before continuing their assault on Wednesday morning.Holder enjoyed some fortune on 78 when he was dropped by wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva off the bowling of Graeme Cremer, and made the most of it as he went on to score 110.Dowrich brought up his maiden Test hundred with a towering six off Cremer, but the partnership was finally ended in the following over when the wicketkeeper-batsman was trapped lbw for 103 by Tendai Chisoro.Having gained his maiden Test wicket, Chisoro went on to bowl Holder in his next over before wrapping up the innings when he trapped Roach lbw.The left-arm spinner thus finished with figures of 3 for 113, while Raza ended with 5 for 99.Needing to bat big in their second innings if they wanted to win the match and earn a share of the two-match series, Zimbabwe made a horrific start when Roach dismissed the two openers in consecutive overs.Craig Ervine and Brendan Taylor attempted to resurrect the innings after lunch with a patient stand, but Taylor was trapped lbw by Gabriel before Ervine was bowled by Bishoo for 22. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedWI v Zimbabwe: Hope, Chase, Brathwaite tune up with fiftiesOctober 16, 2017In “Sports”WI v Zimbabwe: Cremer, Chakabva keep hopes of draw aliveNovember 2, 2017In “Sports”Update: Kemar Roach claims five wickets as West Indies pace attack devastates EnglandJanuary 24, 2019In “latest news” read more