By RTT News,
December 30, 2013, 04:41:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Canadian stocks snapped a six-day gain to end marginally lower Monday, due mainly to lack of direction and some mixed cues from global equity markets, even as commodities slumped. The index had been on a high after investor's risk appetite improved with a slew of upbeat economic data out of the U.S. recently.
Elsewhere, the Asian markets ended somewhat mixed due mainly to lack of global cues, after data last week showed the U.S. economic recovery is gaining momentum. A weaker yen lifted Japanese shares to a fresh six-year high, while Chinese shares fell modestly amid lingering worries over liquidity conditions.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed Monday at 13,581.39, down 6.59 points or 0.05 percent. The index scaled an intraday high of 13,597.48 and a low of 13,572.26. The index added about 400 points or 3 percent in the past six straight sessions.
Crude oil ended sharply lower Monday, after data from the U.S. showed pending home sales index rose less than expected and on news reports that the Libyan oil scenario may be improving for shipments.
Crude oil for February delivery, the most actively traded contract, shed $1.03 or 1.0 percent to close at $99.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Monday.
In the oil patch, Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) dropped 0.97 percent, while Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) shed 0.47 percent.
Gold futures ended lower on Monday, after some soft U.S. pending home sales data despite a weak dollar. Volumes, as expected, continued to remain very thin due to the New Year holidays.
Gold for February delivery, shed $10.20 or 0.8 percent to close at $1,203.80 an ounce Monday on the Comex division of the NYMEX.
Among gold stocks, Kinross Gold Corp. (K.TO) dropped 3.40 percent, Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) was down 2.57 percent, and Yamana Gold Inc. (YRI.TO) dived 3.32 percent.
The Financial Index gained 0.28 percent, with TD Bank (TD.TO) up 0.41 percent, the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) gaining 0.47 percent, and the Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) up 0.27 percent.
Transportation firm Vitran Corp (VTN.TO) lost 3.51 percent after announcing it would be acquired by TransForce Inc. (TFI.TO) for $6.50 per share in cash, indicating an aggregate value of an approximate $136 million.
In economic news from the U.S., the National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index inched up 0.2 percent to 101.7 in November from a downwardly revised 101.5 in October. Economists had been expecting the index to jump by about 1.5 percent.
From Europe, Switzerland's current account surplus for the third quarter increased from the same period last year, data from the Swiss National Bank showed. The current account surplus rose to CHF 19.7 billion from CHF 13.7 billion in the same period a year ago. In the second quarter, the current account surplus was CHF 20.2 billion.
During this week investor focus will be on the results of a house price survey by S&P, the Conference Board's consumer confidence survey for December, the Institute for Supply Management's national manufacturing survey for December, the manufacturing survey for the Chicago region and the weekly jobless claims report.
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