The Canadian stock market dipped lower Thursday, as stocks lost their recent gains and investors got concerned about the upcoming budget battles in the U.S.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index subtracted 70.33 points, or 0.56 percent, to 12,470.44, while the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index lost 13.67 points, or 1.10 percent, to 1,226.17.
The euphoria from Tuesday's U.S. fiscal cliff deal quickly tapered off in the market Thursday, as traders sobered up to the imminent long slog through the country's debt ceiling debates and unresolved budget issues.
Meanwhile, Thursday's economic data from the U.S. showed contrasting reports in the country's private sector job gains and unemployment benefits claims in December.
The latest U.S. job report revealed an adding of 215,000 jobs in the private sector last month, better than the 140,000 job gains economists had predicted.
However, the U.S. Labor Department said state unemployment benefits claims rose to 372,000 last week, from 350,000 in the week before.
In the Canadian market, materials and mining stocks slumped across the board, with Teck Resources slipping 1.52 percent to 36. 93 Canadian dollars apiece. Miners, Taseko Mines and Rio Alto Mining lost 3.46 percent to 3.07 Canadian dollars per share and 3. 40 percent to 5.12 Canadian dollars a share, respectively.
In the energy sector, Suncor Energy gained 0.06 percent to 33.43 Canadian dollars a share. Canadian Natural Resources was up 1.13 percent to 29.54 Canadian dollars per share. Oil and gas producer Crescent Point Energy Corp. lost 2.73 percent to 36.28 Canadian dollars apiece.
Among financial stocks, Royal Bank of Canada increased by 0. 33 percent to 60.70 Canadian dollars per share. The country's second largest bank, TD Bank, fell by 0.99 percent to 82.37 Canadian dollars a share. Key insurer Sun Life Financial Inc. was up 0.97 percent to 27.01 Canadian dollars apiece.
In gold, Barrick Gold Corp. dropped 2.85 percent to 34.08 Canadian dollars per share. The firm's main competitor Goldcorp tumbled 4.68 percent to 35.22 Canadian dollars a share.
Tech sector declined as well, with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. losing 1.9 percent to 11.35 Canadian dollars a share.
At closing, the Canadian dollar lowered to trade at 1.0122 at 5 p.m. local time (2200 GMT) on Thursday, compared with 1.0149 on Wednesday.