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At the open: TSX underperforms Wall Street again

Traders work on the main trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shortly after the opening bell in New York, May 20, 2013.

Mike Segar/Reuters

The Toronto stock market showed little movement early Wednesday following a sharp loss in the previous session that was caused by worries that central banks may withdraw efforts to help the global economic recovery.

The S&P/TSX composite index inched up 0.75 of a point to 12,224.32, weighed down primarily by the telecom sector.

The Canadian dollar rose 0.27 of a cent to 98.42 cents US.

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U.S. indexes also advanced with the Dow industrials ahead 58.82 points to 15,180.84, the Nasdaq was up 11.01 points to 3,447.96 and the S&P 500 index climbed 6.6 points to 1,632.73.

Commodity prices were mainly higher as July copper was up two cents to $3.21 (U.S.) per pound after worries about Chinese growth helped send the metal down 17 cents over the past four sessions. Uncertainty about China's recovery has weighed on markets following weekend data showing exports, retail sales and other indicators weaker than expected.

The TSX base metals sector rose 0.42 per cent and HudBay Minerals climbed eight cents to $7.86.

The energy sector climbed 0.27 per cent as the July crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 71 cents to $96.09 a barrel. Suncor Energy was ahead 25 cents to $31.32.

And August bullion on the Nymex dropped $2.30 to $1,374.70 an ounce with the gold component ahead 0.3 per cent. Barrick Gold Corp. improved by 27 cents to $20.26.

The telecom sector fell 0.8 per cent as BCE Inc. dropped 52 cents to $44.58.

The TSX tumbled 159 points Tuesday after Japan's central bank failed to deliver expected measures to ease bond market volatility. Instead, the bank only upgraded its economic outlook.

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There has also been concern about whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will ease its monetary stimulus. The Fed has been buying bonds to push down market interest rates, which has helped fuel a strong rally on U.S. markets that has gone up practically non-stop since late last year.

However, that rally has bypassed the TSX, which has been depressed by a mining sector weighed down by falling commodity prices amid a weak global economic recovery. Gold miners have also been a major weight as lower inflation concerns have depressed gold stocks and bullion prices. Energy stocks have suffered because of demand concerns and worries about the future of major pipeline projects such as Keystone XL which would move greater amounts of oilsands crude to American markets. And financials have weakened amid a slowing Canadian economy in general and a housing sector past its peak.

The TSX is down around 200 points year to date and finished lower in seven of the past eight sessions.

In corporate news, Hudson's Bay Co. lost $80.7-million in the latest quarter including discontinued operations, down from $129.7-million in the first quarter of 2012. Revenue rose by 4.2 per cent to $884-million. Hudson's Bay stores in Canada had a 7.6 per cent same-store sales growth, offset by a 1.4 per cent decline at Lord & Taylor stores in the United States and its shares gained 59 cents to $16.75.

Dollarama Inc. says the addition of 85 stores over the past year and strong growth at established locations helped push up revenue by 12 per cent to $448-million. The Montreal-based discount chain also reported profit of $45.6-million or 62 cents per share, which missed estimates of 67 cents and its shares fell $3.18 to $69.40.

European bourses were mixed as London's FTSE 100 index gained 0.18 per cent, Frankfurt's DAX dipped 0.08 per cent while the Paris CAC 40 was up 0.28 per cent.

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Earlier in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 shed 0.2 per cent, after spiking up nearly five per cent Monday after the prime minister promised new tax cuts. Markets in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were closed for a holiday.

Seoul's Kospi shed 0.6 per cent while Sydney's ASX S&P 200 fell 0.7 per cent.

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