CANADA STOCKS-TSX slides as rate moves uncertain following labor data

Fri Sep 4, 2015 11:21am EDT
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(Adds analyst comments, latest market moves)

* TSX down 119.1 points, or 0.88 percent, at 13,477.31

* Nine of the TSX's 10 main groups were lower

By Solarina Ho

TORONTO, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell broadly on Friday as mixed employment data provided little clarity for investors hoping to receive more guidance ahead of this month's central bank monetary policy meetings on both sides of the border.

Job growth in the United States slowed in August, rising 173,000, while the unemployment rate dropped to a near 7-1/2-year low and wages accelerated. Canada unexpectedly added 12,000 new jobs last month, versus the expected decline of 4,500, but the country's unemployment rate hit 7 percent, a one-year high.

"At the end of the day, when you look at the data release this morning, there isn't a clear answer and if there's one thing the market doesn't like, it's uncertainty," said Patrick Blais, senior portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management.

"The market's just having trouble reading the timing of the (Federal Reserve's) rate increase. I think that's just throwing the market off. There's a little bit for everyone, but at the end of the day, no one's happy."

Blais said the odds of the Bank of Canada cutting rates have dropped heading into the meeting next week, but added that headwinds in Canada remained fairly strong, and that the improving trends were not sustainable.   Continued...