TORONTO - As the end of the year deadline looms for the "fiscal cliff," traders showed their displeasure with the lack of progress being made in Washington on budget talks, and stock markets ended lower.
The S&P/TSX composite index suffered the least, falling a mere 3.01 points to 12,385.70, while the TSX Venture Exchange was down 2.79 points to 1,177.71.
But the drop was much steeper on Wall Street where stocks began to fall after House Republicans called off a vote on tax rates and left federal budget talks in disarray 10 days before sweeping tax increases and government spending cuts take effect.
The Dow Jones industrials dropped 120.88 points to 13,190.84, the Nasdaq fell 29.38 points to 3,021.01 and the S&P 500 index was off 13.54 points at 1,430.15.
Traders are growing concerned that U.S. leaders won't reach an agreement by the year-end deadline, and the lack of a decision could trigger a recession south of the border.
Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar dropped 0.63 of a cent to 100.66 cents US, as Statistics Canada reported the country's inflation rate fell to its lowest level in more than three years. It also reported the gross domestic product grew 0.1 per cent in October.