(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) Toronto's main market edged lower on Tuesday, as materials and energy weighed with investors moving their focus from the Greek debt deal to the looming US fiscal cliff issue.
In the third meeting in as many weeks, eurozone officials finally agreed late Monday on the release of the next tranche of aid money to Greece, which involves a package of measures to reduce its debt by 40 billion euros. The deal includes lower interest rates for the country, and more time for it to repay its bailout loans.
European markets rose as investors were relieved at the agreement.
But attention in North America quickly turned to Congress, with lawmakers under pressure to reach a budget deal to avert the 600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect in the new year.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned early this morning that if the U.S. fails to resolve the fiscal cliff issue, the global economy could fall back into recession. It expects growth across the OECD region of 1.4% in 2012 and 2013.
Back in Toronto, as of 12:55pm ET, the S&P/TSX Composite was down 34.07 points, or 0.28%, to 12,150.98, while the more junior S&P/TSX Venture Composite fell 17 points, or 1.39%, to 1,208.75.
Most of Toronto's main sectors were lower, with energy, materials, metals and mining, health care and info tech in the red.
Financials were hovering around breakeven as the reporting season for Canadian banks begins this week, while industrials were boosted by shares of Bombardier (TSE:BBD.B) after the company announced its biggest business aircraft sales in its history.
Commodities were down, with gold for December delivery lower by 4.8 to 1,744.80 an ounce after US consumer confidence rose to a four-and-a-half year high in November, lowering its safe haven appeal. Silver futures declined almost 9 cents to 34.14 an ounce.
Crude oil for January delivery tumbled 17 cents to 87.57 a barrel as global growth concerns overshadowed the Greek debt deal. The base metal copper contract moved down slightly to 3.55 a pound.
Gold giants fell on Tuesday, as Kinross Gold (TSE:K), Barrick Gold (TSE:ABX) and Goldcorp (TSE:G) dropped 0.6%, 0.9% and 2.9%, respectively.
Decliners in materials were also led by Centerra Gold (TSE:CG), down 5.3%, while gainers in the sector were led by North American Palladium (TSE:PDL), up around 6.8%.
Energy stocks also weighed, with decliners led by Tourmaline Oil (TSE:TOU), which fell 2.6%, and Nexen (TSE:NXY), down 2.4%. Connacher Oil and Gas (TSE:CLL) retreated 7.8%, while Canadian Natural Resources (TSE:CNQ) lost 0.7% and Suncor Energy (TSE:SU) shed 0.6%.
Talisman Energy (TSE:TLM) and Cenovus Energy (TSE:CVE) also fell 0.5% and 1.8%, respectively.
Gains in the sector were led by Mullen Group (TSE:MTL) and Husky Energy (TSE:HSE), which both rose around 1%.
Info-tech took a tumble as Research In Motion (TSE:RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM) lost around 6.5% after AllThings D blog reported that Morgan Stanley analyst Ehud Gelblum suggested the BlackBerry maker's better-than-expected second quarter earnings were just an anomaly, and was pessimistic about the launch of the BlackBerry 10 in the new year. This follows a rally for the stock in previous days, as many analysts have lifted their ratings on the Waterloo-based tech company on better-than-anticipated reviews of the new operating system.
In other corporate news today, Montreal-based train and plane maker Bombardier (TSE:BBD.B) saw its shares fly 8 per cent higher in Toronto Tuesday after it said it signed the largest business aircraft sale in its history.
British-based VistaJet has signed a deal for up to 142 Global Bombarider business jets, with firm orders for 56 Global-series aircraft, plus options for 86 more. The initial order is worth US3.1 billion and will soar to 7.8 billion if all the options are exercised. Deliveries of these aircraft will begin in 2014, Bombardier said.
Vancouver-based Western Potash Corp. (TSE:WPX) (FSE:AHE) has inked a definitive agreement with the city of Regina, securing a long-term source of process water for its Milestone potash project in Saskatchewan.
Under the agreement, the company will have access to 60,000 cubic metres per day of treated effluent for the first six years, and 42,240 cubic metres for the remaining 39 years.
Financials were near breakeven Tuesday, as Royal Bank of Canada (TSE:RY), the nation's biggest bank by assets and the first to report quarterly earnings on November 29, edged up 0.2%, and insurer Manulife Financial (TSE:MFC) was flat.
U.S. equity markets were mixed Tuesday despite a strong housing report and Greece reaching a deal with eurozone leaders, as global growth concerns weighed.
The Dow was lately down 21 points to 12,946, the Nasdaq was up 5 points to 2,982, and the S&P 500 rose 1 point to 1,407.
On the economic front, U.S. home prices rose in September for the sixth straight month, signaling that the housing market is "in the midst of a recovery" according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index.
The 20-city composite index posted a non-seasonally adjusted 0.3 per cent increase in September to reach the highest level in two years, following a 0.8 per cent gain in August. Home prices were up 3 per cent from September 2011 for the largest annual percentage growth since July 2010.
The Commerce Department reported orders for durable goods came in unchanged in October, with the data better than the decline anticipated by economists.
The Conference Board also said its consumer confidence index rose to 73.7 in November from 73.1 in October. That's above the 72.2 level forecast by economists and the best level since February 2008. The October reading was upwardly revised from 72.2.
In corporate news, ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) has made a 90 per share agreed bid for Ralcorp Holdings (NYSE:RAH) - a 28 per cent premium over Ralcorp's closing stock price Monday.
The deal, valued at 6.8 billion including debt, would create one of the largest North American packaged-food companies and is expected to close in March 2013.
Home-security monitoring company ADT Corp. (NYSE:ADT) Tuesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings edged up 1.1 per cent on higher revenue and a stronger gross margins.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) shares rose 0.5% after it said that worldwide sales of its Kindle device were more than double last year's record over the holiday shopping weekend.
Acadia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACAD) stock surged 155 per cent Tuesday on positive news for its Parkinson's drug.
After the closing bell, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) is expected to post fourth-quarter earnings of 45 cents per share, on average, according to a poll by FactSet.
European markets finished higher today on the Greek debt deal, with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX rose 0.55% while Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.22% and France's CAC 40 added 0.03%.