By RTT News,
December 30, 2013, 10:37:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Canadian stocks were little changed Monday morning amid weak commodities with traders preferring to stay on the sidelines.
Elsewhere, the Asian markets started the week on a firm footing 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 slipped 8.00 points or 0.06 percent to 13,579.98, after adding over 400 points or 3 percent in the past six straight trading sessions.
The price of crude oil was firm near the $100-mark Monday morning amid growth optimism following a recent batch of upbeat macroeconomic data out of the US. Crude for February eased $0.49 to $99.83 a barrel
In the oil patch, Lundin Petroleum (LUP.TO) jumped over 6 percent, while Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), Bonterra Energy (BNE.TO) and MEG Energy (MEG.TO) added around 1 percent each.
The price of gold was moving lower Monday morning, with the US dollar trading mixed versus a basket of major currencies ahead of year end adjustments by banks. Gold for February shed $8.10 to $1,205.90 an ounce.
Among gold plays, Goldcorp. (G.TO) and Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) shed around 1 percent each, while Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) ticking up 0.25 percent.
Among financial stocks, Laurentian Bank (LB.TO) and CIBC (CM.TO) were down close to 1 percent each.
Transportation firm Vitran Corp (VTN.TO) lost about 3 percent after it said its would be acquired by TransForce Inc. (TFI.TO) for $6.50 in cash per share, valuing Vitran at approximately $136 million. Vitran has terminated the agreement that it had entered into with an affiliate of Manitoulin Transport on December 9, 2013, which contemplated the sale of Vitran at $6.00 per share. Meanwhile, TransForce gained about 3 percent.
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 the euro zone, 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 traders' focus will be on the results of a house price survey by S&P, the results of Conference Board's consumer confidence survey for December, the results of the Institute for Supply Management's national manufacturing survey for December, the results of the manufacturing survey for the Chicago region and the weekly jobless claims report.
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