* TSX down 88.56 points, or 0.8 percent, at 10,983.20
* Worse-than-expected U.S. jobs data hits stocks (Adds details, quote)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was pulled down by soft oil and base-metals prices on Friday morning as a weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs report sparked worry about the pace of economic recovery.
U.S. employers cut a deeper-than-expected 263,000 jobs in September, lifting the unemployment rate to 9.8 percent, according to a government report on Friday. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected nonfarm payrolls to drop 180,000 in September. [ID:nN01277999]
Among the big losers was oil company Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), which fell 1.5 percent to C$68.80, as oil sank on the U.S. jobs report. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) fell 1.8 percent at C$46.70, and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) lost 1.2 percent to C$55.45.
“With fewer people working there’ll be less money to spend on various consumer goods,” Bruce Latimer, trader at Dundee Securities, said of the data’s impact on investor sentiment.
At 10:06 a.m. (1406 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 88.56 points, or 0.8 percent, at 10,983.20, extending Thursday’s 2.8 percent fall. It was the first time the index fell has dropped below 11,000 since Sept. 9.
“Canada opened down pretty hard here and it’s trying to find some footing. You’ve got a beginning of the month, a beginning of the quarter and people aren’t willing to commit money at this point and time,” Latimer said.
“You have to keep in mind the market has had a very good run. To see it pull back here is not unhealthy nor is it a big surprise.”
The market is up about 45 percent from the five-year low it hit in early March.
The index’s weighty energy and financial sectors fell 1 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. The materials sector, which had been lower earlier in the session, was up 0.2 percent as gold prices climbed.
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) rose 0.8 percent to C$39.54 and Goldcorp (G.TO) climbed 1 percent to C$41.90.
($1=$1.09 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)