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North American stocks fell at the start of trading on Tuesday, part of a widespread decline as investors grapple with the thought of lower Chinese economic growth this year.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 151 points or 1.2 per cent, to 12,812. The broader S&P 500 fell 17 points or 1.3 per cent, to 1,347. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index fell 191 points or 1.5 per cent, to 12,333.

Economically sensitive stocks and commodity producers in particular were among the hardest hit. Dow components Alcoa Inc. fell 3.3 per cent, Caterpillar Inc. fell 3.6 per cent and Bank of America Corp. fell 3.6 per cent.

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Among Canadian commodity producers, Suncor Energy Inc. fell 3 per cent and Barrick Gold Corp. fell 2.1 per cent. Crude oil fell to $105.91 (U.S.) a barrel, down 81 cents. Gold fell to $1,687 an ounce, down $17.

Meanwhile, Bank of Nova Scotia fell 0.8 per cent after topping expectations with its quarterly results. Earnings rose 15 per cent, to $1.44-billion (Canadian), or $1.23 a share. The bank also boosted its quarterly dividend by 6 per cent. The decline was in line with other bank stocks: Toronto-Dominion Bank , for example, fell 0.6 per cent.

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About the Author
Investing Reporter

David Berman has been writing about business and investing since 1995. He has written for a number of magazines, including Canadian Business and MoneySense. He worked at the Financial Post as an investing writer and daily columnist before moving to the Globe and Mail in 2008. More

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