Oct 23, 2012

By Michael Kramer

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Stocks were battered on North American markets as the price of oil fell to a three-month low of 86 dollars, 67 cents a barrel in New York. That’s a drop of almost two dollars. Large U-S corporations also cut earnings forecasts, raising concerns about economic growth and oil demand. The Toronto Stock Exchange lost 177 points, while in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gave back 243 points. Shares in chemical maker DuPont fell nine per cent as earnings disappointed. And conglomerate 3-M met earnings estimates but cut its 2012 profit estimate to reflect what it called current economic realities. Because of their global footprints and variety of products and services, those companies are viewed as indicators of how the world economy is performing. The Canadian dollar closed down 1-100th to 100.74 cents US, well off session lows as the Bank of Canada said it was keeping its key rate unchanged at one per cent.

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