The Toronto stock market closed lower Thursday as traders speculated about whether the U.S. Federal Reserve thinks economic conditions will warrant another round of stimulus.
Traders also took in data showing the fragility of the global economic recovery.
The S&P/TSX composite index declined 56.48 points to 12,062.51 and the TSX Venture Exchange rose 2.42 points to 1,248.08.
The Canadian dollar was down US0.22¢ to US$1.0064.
New York's Dow Jones industrials declined 115.30 points to 13,057.46.
The Nasdaq composite index dropped 20.27 points to 3,053.4 and the S&P 500 index was off 11.41 points at 1,402.08.
Minutes from the Fed's Aug. 1 meeting showed many members of the committee that decides interest rate policy felt further support would be needed "fairly soon" unless the American economy improved significantly.
The Fed makes its next interest rate announcement Sept. 13, when the central bank could also announce new stimulus measures.
There were also doubts about Fed willingness to embark on further stimulus as a number of economic reports from the U.S. since its last meeting have showed a steadily improving economy, including better-than-expected employment growth, rising retail sales, improving consumer confidence and better housing data.
And some analysts suggest this could indicate the Fed would be out to do more than just help the U.S.
"I think their reason for doing it would be to show that there was co-ordination amongst the central banks, that they're all pulling together and trying to help the global situation," said Norman Raschkowan, North American strategist for Mackenzie Financial Corp.
"And it's honestly only in that context that I think they would act because I don't really think there is a need and I think there is a growing chorus of people who recognize that the U.S. is doing OK."
Markets failed to find lift from other data showing further signs of a steady recovery in the U.S. housing market. The Commerce Department reported that sales of new homes in the U.S. rose 3.6% in July to match a two-year high reached in May to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 372,000.
Commodity prices had headed higher in the wake of the Fed announcement, but the energy sector lost 1.29% as the October crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange shed early gains to move down 99¢ to US$96.27 a barrel. Suncor Energy declined 48¢ to $31.25 and Cenovus Energy shed 80¢ to $32.37.