Canada's main stock market, the Toronto Stock Exchange, recovered from a day low 15,406.10 hit early in Monday's session as the resources heavy index was impacted by weak commodity prices and some nervousness ahead of a busy week for U.S. economic data. There are concerns that all of the U.S. data might show the economy there is still struggling to pull itself out of the recessionary mire.
But the TSX continues to hold plenty of appeal for investors as equities represent an alternative investment to say gold and the index fought its way back to close little changed, even tip toeing in to positive territory in the closing minutes before settling just under water.
Of individual stocks, Athabasca Oil Corp. (ATH.TO) fell to its lowest intraday price in seven months after saying it's still trying to collect a C$1.32 billion payment from PetroChina Co. for a Canadian oil-sands project. The shares were down more than 6% late in the day. The stock was downgraded today to "Market Perform" from "Outperform" by Chris Cox, an analyst with Raymond James Ltd., who also lowered the share price target to C$7.50 from C$10.50.
Of sectors, most here higher, with Energy, Industrials and Info Tech down.
Among commodities, gold futures prices ended the U.S. day session little changed ahead of a busy week for U.S. economic data that will include the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, a key employment report on Friday and second-quarter GDP report Wednesday.
Oil slipped as the flow of oil from the Middle East continues, despite geopolitical concerns in the region.
According to Bloomberg, speculators are fleeing natural gas after prices dropped below US$4 for the first time since December and power plant production fell to a 13-year seasonal low. Bloomberg said hedge funds reduced net-long positions, or bets on rising prices, by 11% in the week ended July 22, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said. Bullish wagers have declined 51% since February, it added.
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