The Toronto stock market is down despite moves by central banks to give the global economic recovery some much-needed assistance.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index faded 49.16 points to approach noon at 11,864.71
The Canadian dollar was up but 0.02 cents at 98.70 cents U.S.
Most gold miners struggled, with shares of Kinross Gold Corp. slipping 3.7% and Novagold Resources falling 3.8%.
In corporate news, plane and train manufacturer Bombardier announced Thursday a technology licence agreement with CSR Puzhen, a subsidiary of China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation Ltd. Bombardier's stock added as much as 1.7% following the news.
The TSX Venture Exchange gave back 14.84 points to 1,227.06. The Nasdaq Canada index regained 1.78 points to 361.28.
Nine of the 14 Toronto subgroups were lower, weighed by a 1.1% loss for health-care stocks. Energy issues were 0.9% weaker and consumer discretionary stocks were 0.8% to the bad.
The four gainers were led by consumer staples, ahead 0.3%, global base metals, 0.2% better, and information technology, up 0.1%.
Industrial stocks were flat at noon.
U.S. stocks bounced off session lows Thursday as the smoke cleared from central bank rate cuts and dreary economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrials eased 22.03 points to break for lunch at 12,921.79. Markets were shuttered Wednesday for Independence Day.
The S&P 500 demurred 3.88 points to 1,370.14. The Nasdaq Composite Index recovered 4.98 points, however, to 2,981.06.
Several large retailers reported mixed results for sales in June on Thursday. Retailers were battling high unemployment, falling consumer confidence and unexpectedly warm weather purchases being made earlier than usual this year.
Of the retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters, 18 are expected to report a 2.4% gain in June same-store sales -- far less than the 7.7% gain from a year earlier.
Costco Wholesale Corp, Macy's Inc, Kohl's Corp and Target Corp all reported disappointing June sales.
But it wasn't all bad news -- TJX Cos Inc., which runs the discount chain T.J. Maxx chain, and Ross Stores Inc reported some of the largest gains as shoppers looked for bargains on higher-end clothes and home goods.
Today, the European Central Bank lowered its key interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 0.75%.
Thursday has been a big day for central bank intervention, with the Bank of England increasing asset purchases by £50 billion ($78.1 billion U.S.) and the People's Bank of China also cut several key interest rates for the second time in less than a month. China's central bank brought its lending rate down by 0.31 percentage point to 6%.
Meanwhile, Spain sold €3 billion ($3.8 billion U.S.) in three- and 10-year bonds Thursday -- the first auction since last week's euro-zone summit. Yields on the 10-year bond moved up to 6.54% but stayed below peak levels hit in June.
Economically speaking, three reports released on Thursday suggested a pick up in the U.S. labour market.
Fewer companies announced plans to lay off workers, and private businesses said they're hiring more people in June. Meanwhile, claims for unemployment benefits fell during the last week of the month.
About 374,000 people filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, 14,000 fewer than the week before, the U.S. Labor Department reported.
Companies also announced fewer layoffs in June, according to data collected by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. Employers announced 37,551 planned job cuts, the lowest number in 13 months, the report said.
And even more good news, a report released by payroll-processing company ADP beat expectations and showed that private businesses added 176,000 jobs in June, a significant improvement over the month before. The ADP report typically foreshadows the department's jobs report, which will come out Friday.
What's more, the non-manufacturing index dipped to 52.1 in June, according to the Institute of Supply Management's monthly report -- down from 53.7 in May and below expectations. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose, pushing the yield down to 1.58% from 1.63% late Tuesday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil for August delivery doffed six cents to $87.60 U.S. a barrel.
Gold futures for August delivery fell $16.90 to $1,606 U.S. an ounce.