Canadian stocks were little changed Monday morning with traders awaiting cues from the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony to Congress, this week. Meanwhile, the IMF today slashed its 2013 growth forecast for the global economy. In an update to its twice-yearly World Economic Outlook, the lender cut the world growth forecast for next year to 3.9 percent from 4.1 percent predicted in April. The outlook for this year was left unchanged at 3.5 percent.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index slipped 9.12 points or 0.08 percent to 11,505.41.
The Diversified Materials Index was the major loser, shedding close to 2 percent. Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO) lost nearly 5 percent First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) and Teck Resources (TCK_B.TO) slipped around 1 percent each.
The price of crude oil edged up Monday morning as traders await cues from the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony to Congress, this week. Crude for August was up $0.15 to $87.25 a barrel.
In the oil patch, Petrominerales (PMG.TO) and Celtic Exploration (CLT.TO) were down around 3 percent each.
Meanwhile, MEG Energy (MEG.TO) soared 6 percent after announcing expansion plans. Niko Resources (NKO.TO) moved up 4 percent.
The price of gold was ticking lower Monday morning amid a steady U.S. dollar. Gold for August eased $1.50 to $1,590.50 an ounce.
Among gold plays, Royal Gold (RGL.TO) and Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) lost about 2 percent each. Centerra Gold (CG.TO) surrendered nearly 4 percent.
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM.TO) lost just over 2 percent after it said it would pay $147.2 million in a litigation against Mformation Technologies Inc.
The Canadian government on Sunday approved Swiss commodities trader Glencore International plc's C$6.1 billion acquisition of the nation's biggest grain handler Viterra Inc. (VT.TO). Shares of Viterra eased 0.25 percent.
Meanwhile, real estate company Madison Pacific Properties Inc. (MPC.TO) soared 18 percent.
In economic news, Statistics Canada said non-residents acquired a record $26.1 billion of Canadian securities in May, mainly in the form of government debt securities. Canadian investors made a modest $1.3 billion purchase of foreign securities in the month, following a divestment in April.
From south of the border, U.S. retail sales posted an unexpected and severe drop for June, according to the Commerce Department. Advance estimates for U.S. retail sales for June came in at a seasonally adjusted level of $401.5 billion, a 0.5 percent drop from May levels. Most economists had expected retail sales, which fell 0.2 percent in May, to rebound in June rather than continuing to contract, with the consensus forecast predicting 0.2 percent growth.
Elsewhere, euro zone inflation was 2.4 percent in June, unchanged from the previous month, the latest report from Eurostat showed. The figure matched the preliminary estimate. The rate was the lowest since February 2011. On a monthly basis, the harmonized index of consumer prices fell 0.1 percent.
A separate report from the Eurostat revealed that trade surplus in the region rose more than expected by economists in May. The trade balance was in a surplus of EUR 6.9 billion in May, higher than EUR 3.7 billion in April. Economists expected the surplus to rise to EUR 4 billion.
by RTT Staff Writer
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