Toronto Stock Exchange sees advances, New York markets turn lower
TORONTO — North American 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 after a one-day break for Canada Day. The Canadian dollar fell below the 80-cent US mark for the first time since early June, shedding 0.39 of a U.S. cent to 79.67 cents. The loonie continued to drift lower in the wake of a Statistics Canada report earlier in the week showing the economy contracted for a fourth consecutive month in April, which has raised recession fears and led to speculation about 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 over the Greek debt crisis and a mixed report on 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 points to 4,996.81 and the S&P 500 declined 4.98 points to 2,072.44. American markets will be closed Friday in advance of the July 4th Independence Day holiday on Saturday. Canadian markets will be open.