TSX in five-day losing streak on lackluster jobs data

Fri Apr 5, 2013 5:04pm EDT
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index capped a five-day losing streak by slumping to its lowest in more than 3-1/2 months on Friday, led by declines in the financial sector, as gloomy Canadian and U.S. jobs data suggested the North American economy could be losing steam.

The economic uncertainty weighed on oil prices, which fell to a five-month low, but a rising bullion price took gold shares higher.

The benchmark Canadian index slipped 3.3 percent on the week, recording its biggest weekly fall in about 10 months. The week's losses have erased all the gains the index made in 2013.

March data showed that American employers hired at the slowest pace in nine months and Canada posted the worst monthly jobs loss in more than four years.

"The market was somewhat ahead of itself on expectations it was going to be full steam ahead," said Gavin Graham, president at Graham Investment Strategy. "We've been reminded that there will be some bumps in the road."

"You're going to get months when job gains are not as high as expected or even have a reversal," he added.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 31.20 points, or 0.25 percent, at 12,331.85, after reaching 12,244.23, its lowest point since December 17, 2012. On Wednesday, the index had its biggest one-day percentage decline in more than nine months.

The latest numbers followed weak economic data throughout the week, unnerving investors and casting doubts about a smooth recovery.   Continued...

A Bay Street sign, the main street in the financial district is seen in Toronto, January 28, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch