Toronto, New York stock markets fall

TORONTO -- North American stock markets started the week by dropping sharply, following weak economic data from China and the United States.

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The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX index was down 184.3 points to 12,637.83 after 15 minutes of trading, while Canada's dollar was at 72.27 cents US, down 0.13 from Friday's close.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrials average was down 128.58 points at 16,337.72, the broader S&P 500 index declined 14.35 points to 1,925.89 and the Nasdaq 100 dropped 28.67 points to 4,250.50.

Overseas markets were showing mixed results after an official survey of China's manufacturing purchasing managers fell to its lowest in more than three years, a possible sign of further weakness in one of Canada's major export markets.

The U.S. Commerce department also reported that consumer spending in December was unchanged from November,

On the commodity markets, the March crude contract was down $1.08 at US$32.54 per barrel and the March contract for gold was up $9.80 at US$1,126.00 an ounce as North American stock markets opened.



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