CANADA STOCKS-U.S. jobs letdown drags TSX to 3-month low

Mon Apr 9, 2012 4:51pm EDT
 
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* TSX ends down 84.61 points, or 0.7 pct, at 12,018.50
    * Financials, resources weak; rally in gold shares offers a
cushion
    * Unexpectedly sharp slowdown in U.S. jobs growth

    By Claire Sibonney	
    TORONTO, April 9 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index hit
its lowest level in more than three months on Monday following
much weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data on Friday, though a
rally in gold mining shares helped cushion the fall.	
    Markets had been closed on Friday for the Good Friday
holiday.	
    A mix of resources and financials were among the heaviest
decliners. Potash Corp fell 2.1 percent to C$43.94,
insurer Manulife Financial dropped 3.1 percent to
C$12.73, and Royal Bank of Canada lost 0.7 percent to
C$56.55.	
    "People kept saying we're going to have some sort of a
pullback, and you never know exactly what's going to happen but
Friday was what happened basically, the poor employment report
in the U.S.," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at
MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.	
    "To his credit, Bernanke has been warning about a poor jobs
recovery and maybe we didn't listen enough to it," Nakamoto
added, in reference to U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
Bernanke	
    The U.S. Labor Department reported that employers added
120,000 jobs last month, far below the median forecast for
203,000 new jobs and the smallest increase since October.
 	
    The unexpectedly sharp slowdown in U.S. jobs growth cast
doubt over the ability of the United States to help boost the
global economy as Europe's debt crisis resurfaces and worries
remain whether China's economy will avoid a hard landing. 	
    Surprisingly soft producer prices data in China sparked
concerns of waning demand, reinforcing expectations that a
cooling economy has eclipsed inflation as the Chinese
government's biggest near-term worry. 	
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 ended down 84.61 points, or 0.70 percent, at
12,018.50, marking a fourth straight session of declines. The
TSX is up only 0.5 percent so far in 2012 versus a nearly 10
percent gain in the S&P 500.	
    On the upside, Canada's safe-haven gold miners helped
Toronto stocks outperform Wall Street on Monday. They climbed
0.7 percent as the price of bullion approached $1,650 an
ounce after the below-forecast U.S. jobs report revived hopes
for fresh monetary easing and a spike in Chinese inflation
boosted the appetite for the metal. 	
    Barrick Gold Corp was up 0.7 percent to C$40.80 and
Goldcorp Inc gained 0.8 percent to C$40.93.	
    "A lot of the buyers have backed away ... but the Toronto
market isn't down that much. ... Golds are trying to find a
level here and they're all looking a little bit better," said
Bruce Latimer, trader at Dundee Securities. "They've been beaten
up pretty good for the last two weeks."	
    Latimer noted that volume on Monday was especially light,
with many market players off for the Easter holiday. 	
    Struggling BlackBerry maker Research in Motion was
among the most influential gainers, up 2.9 percent to C$12.98.