The Toronto stock market limped home Friday, at the end of a short week, as gold and material stocks took much of the bruising.
The S&P/TSX composite index ended Friday down 31.91 points to 12,202.94
The Canadian dollar dipped 0.12 cents to 102.06 cents U.S.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that Canada wants a growing relationship with China, but that investments must be scrutinized from a national security perspective.
The industrial sector was one of the few that showed any strength today, most notably, Canadian Pacific Railway shares, which took on 47 cents to $86.88, after reporting that its CFO Kathryn McQuade will retire on Nov. 1, the fourth senior executive to leave Canada's second-largest railroad, after an intense proxy battle earlier this year.
Information technology stocks tried to make a go of it, but the sector barely broke even. MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates stock jumped 75 cents to $50.65, while old standby Research In Motion lost 12 cents to $7.61.
Pilot Gold said it plans to sell 15.5 million stock-warrant units at $1.65 each to raise $25.6 million. Pilot shares shed 21 cents, or 11.6%, to $1.60.
Rival OceanaGold Corporation said it has signed an offtake agreement with commodities trading company Trafigura for the sale and purchase of copper concentrate from the Didipio Project in the Philippines. Its stock dropped two cents in price to $3.33.
Brigus Gold dipped four cents to $1.01, after announcing it plans an offering of 8.3 million shares at $1.21 each to raise about $10 million
Aeterna Zentaris said its offer of 6.6 million stock-warrant units priced at $2.50 a unit, a 20% discount to Thursday's close on Nasdaq. Aeterna shares plummeted 69 cents, or 22.6%, to $2.37.
Le Chateau said it isn't aware of any undisclosed material that would account for its recent share-price increase. Shares have risen steadily over the last week and a half, closing Thursday up almost 10%. On Friday, the stock climbed 55 cents, or 16.2%. to $3.95
The TSX Venture Exchange gave back 7.13 points to 1,292.81
All but three of the 14 Toronto subgroups lost ground on the session. Materials slid 1.5%, gold lost 1.4% and global base metals tumbled 0.9%.
The three gainers were information technology, industrials and real-estate, each 0.1% to the good.
Equities capped a down week with modest declines Friday as investors turned cautious ahead of key corporate reports due next week.
The Dow Jones Industrial average remained positive, but by only 2.46 points, to end the day and the week at 13,328.80
The S&P 500 faded 4.25 points to 1,428.59, while the tech-rich Nasdaq climbed off its lows of the day, but still fell 5.30 points short of breakeven to 3,044.11
For the week, the Dow lost more than 2%, the biggest weekly decline since June 1. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq suffered similar declines.
Even so, stocks are still up for the year. The Dow has risen more than 7% so far in 2012. The market has been supported by monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve and better-than-expected earnings in the first half of the year.
The week ahead brings earnings and sales reports from 12 Dow components, including financial giants Bank of America and American Express, as well as chip maker Intel and global conglomerate General Electric.
On Friday, bank stocks were under pressure after Wells Fargo said sales fell short of expectations in the third quarter, even as profits were in line with forecasts.
JPMorgan shares eased after the bank reported record quarterly profits.
Investors were also focused on shares of companies in the semiconductor space after AMD cut its revenue forecast for the third quarter.
Water technology firm Ecolab announced plans to buy Champion Technologies in a deal valued at $2.2 billion U.S.
Shares of J.B. Hunt Transport rose after the company said Thursday that earnings rose 14% in the most recent quarter.
Economically speaking, a report by the U.S. Labor Department showed producer prices rose 1.1% in September, more than anticipated. Government officials chalked much of that up to spikes in food and energy prices, noting that excluding those increases, the prices of finished goods remained unchanged from the previous month.
The University of Michigan/Reuters consumer sentiment index for October rose to 83.1, the highest level in five years. It was expected to come in at 78.5.
The price of the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury pushed ahead, weighing the yield down to 1.66% from 1.68% late Thursday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices slipped 31 cents to $91.75 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices fell $13.20 to $1,757.50 U.S. an ounce.
ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland - Canada has publicly been called on the carpet by the European Union for holding up free-trade talks. …