Toronto stock market, Wall Street poised to decline

Related news Sunny Freeman S&P/TSX composite hits highest close since March on strength of financials sector Toronto stock market dips on weakness in the energy and financials sectors Commodity prices lost a little steam with the February gold contract down $1 to US$1,616.60 an ounce and the March copper contract off a penny at US$3.36 per pound. The January oil contract was unchanged at US$97.24 a barrel. Wall Street also appeared set for a fall with the Dow Jones futures down 29 points to 12,002 . The Nasdaq futures fell seven points to 2,259.75 and the broader S&P futures lost 4.8 points to 1,231.20. On Tuesday, encouraging signs out of Europe and a surprisingly strong report on the U.S. housing market drove the Dow up more than 300 points and the TSX up nearly 200 points. It was the best day for stocks this month. The ECB lent a massive €489 billion (US$639 billion) to 523 banks for an exceptionally long period of three years in an effort to steady a financial system under pressure from the eurozone government debt crisis. It was the biggest ECB infusion of credit into the banking system in the euro’s 13 year history and surpassed the €442 billion in one-year loans from June 2009, when the financial system was struggling after the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers. The ECB is trying to ensure that banks have enough ready cash to operate and keep on lending to businesses so that a credit crunch does not choke off economic growth. Many economists think the eurozone may be headed for at least a mild recession in coming months. The credit infusion only treats one of the symptoms of the debt crisis. It does not remove the reasons banks remain wary of lending to each other – especially, their thin levels of capital reserves against potential losses. And it doesn’t cut the large levels of debt carried by many eurzone governments. Following early gains, many European bourses turned lower. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 0.4% at 5,398 while Germany’s DAX fell 0.2% to 5,833 and the CAC-40 in France was 0.5% lower at 3,040. Asian markets rose as positive signs from key western export markets helped shore up sentiment that was jolted by the announcement earlier this week of the death of longtime North Korean strongman Kim Jong Il, which prompted fears of a possible power struggle in a country pursuing nuclear weapons. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.6% to 18,368.6 while China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended down 1.1% at 2,181.15. It is a light day for economic data, with investors expecting retail trade figures for Canada and a report on existing home sales in the United States. In corporate news, TMX Group Inc. (TSX:X) said it has purchased a 16% minority stake in the Bermuda Stock Exchange. Iamgold Corp. (TSX:IMG), a Toronto miner with operations around the world, says it has struck a deal with the government of Suriname in South America to expand the Canadian company’s Rosebel gold mine. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media TSX gets lift from financials, U.S. markets rise to highest since March Keywords Marketwatch The Toronto stock market appeared set Wednesday to give back some of the gains booked a day earlier as investors took in a record loan from the European Central Bank and slightly weaker commodity prices. The Canadian dollar added 0.28 of a cent to 97.34 US in pre-market trading. Facebook LinkedIn Twitter

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