TSX opens lower, as U.S. indexes head higher on possible Syrian agreement

TORONTO – The Toronto stock market opened lower amid news that Syria has agreed to put its chemical weapons under international control to be dismantled.

The S&P/TSX composite index fell 40.06 points to 12,814.58. The Canadian dollar was ahead 0.21 of a cent to 96.61 cents US.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said his government accepted Russia’s proposal in an effort to “uproot U.S. aggression.” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia is now working with Syria to prepare a detailed plan of action, which will be presented shortly.

The positive Syrian news drove U.S. indexes higher, as the Dow Jones rose 67.66 points to 15,130.78, the Nasdaq was up 14.11 points to 3,720.29 and the broader market measure, the S&P 500, was ahead 7.67 points to 1,679.38.

Investors have been spooked for the past few weeks as they waited to see if the U.S. would launch military action against Syria for an alleged sarin gas attack on Aug. 21. The U.S. believes the attack in a Damascus suburb killed 1,429 people.

The positive signs on the Syria situation also sent the price of oil lower for a second day in a row. The October crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $1.97 to US$107.55 a barrel. December copper was unchanged at $2.28. December bullion dropped $22.10 to US$1,364.60 an ounce.