Closing Bell TSX up slightly in tight trading as oil prices decline

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market traded in a tight range on Wednesday as oil prices tumbled, while housing data was mixed for the U.S. and Canada.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 12,436.16 +13.45 +0.11%S&P 500 — 1,461.05 +1.73 +0.12%Dow — 13,577.96 +13.32 +0.10%Nasdaq — 3,182.64 +4.82 +0.15%The S&P/TSX composite index was ahead 13.37 points to 12,436.08. The TSX Venture Exchange rose 13.54 points to 1,336.18.The Canadian dollar was up 0.07 of a cent to 102.68 cents US.The energy sector was the biggest decliner, off 0.6 per cent, with Talisman Energy (TSX:TLM) falling 19 cents to $14.06.October crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange moved down $3.31 to US$91.98 a barrel, touching a six-week low.December bullion increased 50 cents to close the session at US$1,771.70 an ounce while December copper was up less than one cent to US$3.80 a pound.In economic data, a report from the U.S. Commerce Department said that builders started construction on more homes in August, driven by the fastest pace of single-family home building in more than two years.Construction of new homes and apartments rose 2.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 750,000 last month.The picture of the Canadian housing market was somewhat less robust, with the Teranet—National Bank National Composite House Price Index showing that prices rose a meagre 0.2% in August from the month prior. That marks the weakest month-over-month increase in 12 years.On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials gained 44.29 points to 13,608.93. The Nasdaq composite index trekked ahead 9.72 of a point to 3,187.52 and the S&P 500 index was 4.8 points higher to 1,464.12.Japan’s main stock market hit a four-month high Wednesday after the country’s central bank eased monetary policy to shore up fragile economic growth, but the positive momentum ground to a halt in Europe.The Bank of Japan said it was increasing its asset purchasing fund to 55-trillion yen (US$700-billion) from 45-trillion yen to counter the strength of the Japanese currency. A strong yen makes it more difficult for Japanese companies to compete in international markets.The central bank’s move comes days after the U.S. Federal Reserve revealed it will purchase an average of $40-billion a month in mortgage-backed securities until the economy shows significant improvement.In Canadian corporate developments, B2Gold Corp. plans to acquire CGA Mining Ltd. and its producing Masbate mine in a friendly all-stock deal they value at $1.1-billion. B2Gold stock fell 44 cents or 10.2% to $3.86 while CGA’s rose 16 cents or 6% to $2.81.Air Canada said it is a couple of weeks away from announcing details of its plan to launch a separately managed low-cost airline that will service transatlantic and leisure routes in the Caribbean and the United States. Its shares rose eight per cent, or nine cents, to $1.25.CVTech Group Inc. has been awarded three contracts valued at roughly US$68.8 million by of one of the largest utility companies in the United States. Shares of the company increased 10%, or 10 cents, to $1.10.Here’s the news investors were watching today:Home prices eke out smallest August gain in 12 yearsBlankfein says ‘go long’ on real estateDeposit flight from Europe’s banks eroding euroBank of Japan pumps more yen into economy as recovery prospects fadeON DECK THURSDAYECONOMIC NEWSUNITED STATES8:30 a.m.Weekly jobless claims: Economists expect 375,000 new claims 8:58 a.m.Markit Flash Manufacturing PMI (Sept): Economists expect a reading of 51.5 10 a.m.Philadelphia Fed Index (Sept): Economists expect a reading of -4.5 Leading indicators (Aug): Economists expect a decline of 0.1% 12 p.m.Flow of Funds (Q2) CORPORATE NEWSUNITED STATESConAgra Foods Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 36¢ CarMax Inc Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 51¢