Canadian stocks were lingering in the red Thursday morning as concerns over global economic growth resurfaced following downbeat manufacturing data out of Europe and China. The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing Output Index hit a 10-month low of 47, while the seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the euro zone manufacturing sector came in below the 50-mark.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index was down 29.88 points or 0.24 percent to 12,406.28, a day after snapping its two-session losing streak.
The Diversified Materials Index was the biggest loser, shedding nearly 2 percent. First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO), Teck Resources (TCK_B.TO) and Inmet Mining (IMN.TO) were down around 2 percent each.
The price of crude oil was extending losses Thursday morning as trader fret over demand growth after data revealed contraction in Chinese manufacturing activity. The HSBC Flash China PMI ticked higher in September from a reading of 47.8 in August. However, the HSBC Flash China Manufacturing Output Index hit a 10-month low of 47. Crude for November eased $0.05 to $92.25 a barrel.
In the oil patch, Bonterra Energy (BNE.TO), Pacific Rubiales Energy (PRE.TO) and Paramount Resources (POU.TO) were down around 2 percent each.
The price of gold was leveling off from its seven-month high Thursday morning as traders book profits to cash in on recent gains. Gold for December shed $6.10 to $1,765.60 an ounce.
Among gold plays, Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) was down close to 3 percent, Goldcorp. (G.TO), Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) and Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) were down around 2 percent each.
Miner B2Gold Corp. (BTO.TO) shed 1.50 percent after it said it would acquire Australia's CGA Mining Ltd. (CGA.TO) in an all-stock deal valued at about C$3.18 per share or a total of about C$1.1 billion or $1.13 billion.
Meanwhile, Cluff Gold (CFG.TO) soared nearly 40 percent to C$2.350.
In economic news from the U.S., the Labor Department said that jobless claims edged down to 382,000 in the week ended September 15 from the previous week's revised figure of 385,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 373,000 from the 382,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Elsewhere, activity in euro zone's manufacturing sector decreased at a slower pace in September, data released by Markit Economics showed. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector rose to a six-month high of 46 in September from 45.1 in August, but remained below the no-change 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. Economists expected to index to rise to 45.5.
Separately, the Markit Economics said that Germany's manufacturing sector contracted further in September, though at a slower rate. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector rose to 47.3 in September from 44.7 in August, and hit the highest level in six months. The latest contraction was the least marked since the current period of contraction started in April.
by RTT Staff Writer
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