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Commodities fall on Greek debt woes, British economic data

Report shows Britain's economy shrank by 0.2 percent in the last quarter of 2011


January 25, 2012
by Canadian Press

TORONTO: Commodity prices slipped January 25 amid fears that Britain is slipping into recession and that negotiations on avoiding a Greek debt default had hit an impasse. March copper was down two cents to US$3.79 a pound. Ivanhoe Mines lost 42 cents to $17.11 and HudBay Minerals shed 13 cents to $11.81. The energy sector was off 0.19 percent as March crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange moved down 77 cents to US$98.18 a barrel. Canadian Natural Resources lost 29 cents to $39.69. Meanwhile, bullion fell $9.30 to US$1,655.20 an ounce, pushing the gold sector down 0.56 percent. Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) faded 33 cents to $44.52.

The Toronto stock market was negative, with the S&P/TSX composite index down 35.2 points to 12,360.03 while the TSX Venture Exchange was off 0.05 of a point to 1,576.23. The Canadian dollar was down 0.3 of a cent to 98.72 cents US. Meanwhile, US markets were mainly lower with the Dow Jones industrial average down 73.61 points to 12,602.14.

Traders also took in a report that Britain’s economy shrank by 0.2 percent in the last quarter of 2011, a worse-than-expected result that raises recession fears. The Office for National Statistics said the economy, which had been expected to contract by only 0.1 percent, saw no growth in the key services sector and a slide in industrial activity.