TORONTO _ The Toronto stock market was lower Friday as mining stocks lost ground amid disappointing data from China.
The S&P/TSX composite index declined 40.12 points to 13,554.07 as traders also looked ahead to the start of the U.S. fourth quarter earnings season next week.
The Canadian dollar rose 0.45 of a cent to 94.14 cents US amid a generally weaker U.S. currency.
New York indexes were positive with the Dow Jones industrials ahead 48.94 points to 16,490.29, the Nasdaq climbed 6.18 points to 4,149.25 while the S&P 500 index edged up 4.24 points to 1,836.22.
Base metal prices backed off as China's official nonmanufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index fell to a four-month low, coming in at 54.6 in December from 56 in November. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
The nonmanufacturing PMI covers services including retail, aviation and software as well as the real estate and construction sectors.
North American markets got off to a lacklustre start to 2014 trading Thursday amid a slate of data showing manufacturing sectors in China, the U.S. and Canada still expanding but at a slower pace.
The base metals sector was down 0.5 per cent as March copper on the New York Mercantile Exchange lost three cents to US$3.35 a pound. Teck Resources Ltd. (TSX: TCK.B, Stock Forum) fell 27 cents to C$27.31.
Financials were also a drag as investors also took some profits from a sector that surged more than 20 per cent during 2013. Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX: T.BNS, Stock Forum)gave back 82 cents to $65.19.
Telecoms were also weak with Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX: T.RCI.B, Stock Forum) down 38 cents to $47.28.
The energy sector lost 0.2 per cent as February crude on the Nymex slipped 23 cents to US$95.21 a barrel on top of a $3 slide Thursday.
February bullion gained $4.70 to US$1,229.90 an ounce and the gold sector drifted 0.3 per cent lower. Goldcorp Inc. (TSX: T.G, Stock Forum)faded 29 cents to C$23.84.
Meanwhile, traders are increasingly looking to market fundamentals after the U.S. Federal Reserve ended months of speculation last month and announced it would be cutting back on a key area of stimulus, its US$85 billion of monthly bond purchases. Those purchases are credited with supporting a strong rally on stock markets during 2013, including a 30 per cent surge in the S&P 500 to a record high.
Now, investors will focus on corporate earnings to see if those advances were justified.