TORONTO – United states markets were mixed Thursday, with the Toronto Stock Exchange advancing while New York markets turned lower.
At mid-afternoon, the S&P/TSX composite index was ahead 79.41 points at 14,632.74 as trading resumed following a one-day break for Canada Day.
The Canadian dollar fell below the 80-cent US mark the very first time since early June, shedding 0.39 of the U.S. cent to 79.67 cents. The loonie continued to drift lower in the wake of a Statistics Canada report earlier within the week showing the economy contracted for a fourth consecutive month in April, that has raised recession fears and led to speculation in regards to a possible rate cut by the Bank of Canada.
On the commodity markets, the August crude contract gained 22 cents to US$57.18 a barrel and the August gold contract dropped $5.40 to US$1,163.90 an ounce.
In New York, markets turned lower amid continued worries within the Greek debt crisis and a mixed set of the U.S. jobs market. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 56.19 points at 17,701.72, while the Nasdaq fell 16.31 suggests 4,996.81 and the S&P 500 declined 4.98 suggests 2,072.44.
American markets is going to be closed Friday in advance of the July 4th Independence Day holiday on Saturday. Canadian markets will be open.
In economic news, the U.S. Labor Department reported the American economy added 223,000 jobs in June, with the unemployment rate falling to some seven-year low of 5.3 per cent.
However, the stop by the unemployment rate was due to the fact many of the unemployed had quit searching for jobs. Also around the negative side, wage growth stalled recently after showing signs of improvement earlier in the year.
Adding to the disappointment would be a report from the Commerce Department that U.S. factory orders declined one percent in May, the largest drop in three months.
And orders for durable goods – those expected to last a minimum of three years – fell 2.2 percent in May, that was even worse compared to 1.8 percent drop forecast in a preliminary report last week.
U.S. manufacturing has suffered this year under the weight of a rising dollar, which has hurt exports by making American goods more costly in other countries.
Also, never not even close to traders\’ minds, was the ongoing Greek debt crisis. Among developments Thursday was an analysis from the International Monetary Fund having said that Athens needs debt relief and 50 billion euros in new financing from October through 2018.
The analysis, conducted before Athens defaulted on loans towards the IMF on Tuesday, warned that creditors required to offer Greece discounted rates of interest and a longer payment term.
Greeks vote Sunday on whether to accept demands that creditors had been proposing to solve the standoff over bailout funds.