Closing Bell TSX ends lower amid further signs of economic weakness

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market registered a minor loss on the last day of third quarter trading Tuesday as resource stocks suffered amid weakness in the Canadian and Chinese economies.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 14,960.51– 16.41-0.11%S&P 500 —  1,972.29-5.51 -0.28%Dow — 17,042.90 -28.32 -0.17%Nasdaq — 4,493.39 -12.46 -0.28%The S&P/TSX composite index gave back 16.41 points to 14,960.51. A string of reverses this month centred on economic worries and the timing of future rate hikes resulted in the main Toronto index chalking up a 4.26% loss, its first monthly decline in four months.The Canadian dollar was down 0.37 of a cent to a fresh, six-month low of 89.29 cents US.Statistics Canada reported that gross domestic product was flat during July following a 0.3% rise in June, below an expected gain of 0.2%.U.S. indexes were lower amid other data showing deteriorating consumer confidence. The New York-based Conference Board’s index fell to 86 during September from 93.4 in August.The Dow Jones industrials were down 28.32 points to 17,042.9, ending the month with a small loss. The Nasdaq declined 12.46 points to 4,493.39 while the S&P 500 index shed 5.51 points to 1,972.29.HSBC Corp.’s monthly purchasing managers’ index showed that China’s manufacturing activity in September held steady at the previous month’s low level, indicating the world’s second-largest economy faces risks to growth. The index came in at 50.2. Anything below 50 indicates contraction.Other Chinese data this month reported declining industrial production, lower property prices, weaker imports and pressure on factory prices, all of which added to concerns that outside of the U.S., global growth is faltering badly.“Without a doubt, we have slowing global economies and part of that is a deterioration in the rate of growth in China,” said Tim Caulfield, co-lead manager of the Franklin Bissett Canadian Equity Fund. “And we have seen that weigh heavily on energy and materials equities in September.”Traders have also been concerned that an improving American economy could persuade the U.S. Federal Reserve to move on raising interest rates sooner than expected next year.Positive U.S. economic data and Fed speculation have also helped strengthen the U.S. currency, which in turn have depressed commodity prices during September.A stronger greenback makes it more expensive for holders of other currencies to buy oil and metals, which are U.S.-dollar-denominated.The TSX is still up about 10% for the year as Caulfield observed that the TSX has registered gains in 11 of the past 12 months.“So when we do see a pullback, it’s not entirely surprising given the extent of the advance that we have seen in the current bull market.”The energy sector fell 0.8% while November crude in New York tumbled $3.41 to US$91.16. Lower demand and a glut of supply sent oil tumbling 5% this month to its lowest closing price since November 2012.The base metals sector on the TSX was down 0.6% while December copper gave back five cents to US$3.01 a pound as lower demand pushed the metal, viewed as an economic barometer, down 5% this month.The gold sector moved down 1.35% as December gold faded $7.20 to US$1,211.60, losing almost 6% this month amid low inflation readings in most parts of the globe.TOP STORIESRising debt threatens to plunge world back into financial crisis, top economists warnLoonie sinks after data shows Canadian economy ‘seriously stubbed its toe in July’Windows 10 revealed: Microsoft unveils successor to much-maligned Windows 8 softwareGlobal stocks are headed for worst quarter since peak of the euro crisisCarl Icahn made $180-million this morning when eBay announced it was splitting from PayPalWHAT’S ON DECK WEDNESDAYECONOMIC NEWSUNITED STATES8:15 a.m. ADP National Employment Report  (Sept): Economists expect gain of 205,000 jobs9:45 a.m. Markit Manufacturing PMI (Sept): Economists expect reading of 57.9, unchanged10 a.m. ISM index  (Sept): Economists expect reading of 58.5, down from last month Construction spending: Economists expect gain of 0.5%