Canadian dollar down, United States index futures point to lower stock markets

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Canada’s dollar was up 0.04 of a cent at US77.43 cents. The most influential decliners included Canadian Natural Resources, which fell 1.2 percent to C$30.65, and Suncor Energy Inc, down 0.7 percent at C$36.75. First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) was the most actively traded stock.

On the positive side, a mix of consumer names and telecom stocks moved higher. The loonie was at 76.73 cents USA before North American stock markets opened, down 0.57 from Friday’s close before the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The organization said the level was consistent with a 2.5% annualized growth rate. USA crude prices were down 1.7 percent to $45.84 a barrel, while Brent crude lost 1.0 percent to $48.65.

The Dow Jones industrial futures were down six points at 16,967.0, the S&P 500 futures advanced 1.4 points to 1,995.3 and the Nasdaq futures gained 1.5 points to 4,342.8.

Eight of the 13 TSX subgroups were lower, primarily metals and mining, down 6%, while health-care and industrials each sank 1.6%.

Meanwhile, there was another worrisome report out of China, this one showing imports by the Asian giant plunged 20.4 per cent in September from a year earlier to $145.2 billion.

Gold’s rise was helped by increased bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve will hold off on raising interest rates this year amid soft USA data and concerns over deflationary pressures in China.

Offsetting those gains was a retreat in the resource sector and a USA subpoena for Valeant Pharmaceuticals worldwide Inc.

Goldcorp's Porcupine underground gold mine. Goldcorp. is among the TSX's biggest decliners Thursday

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