TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index saw its five-day rally halted on Wednesday as mining and energy shares retreated after weak U.S. private-sector jobs data and shrinking manufacturing activity in Europe and China hurt demand for riskier commodities.
The reports countered Tuesday’s strong manufacturing data in China, the U.S. and Canada that had sent global markets soaring.
On Wednesday, those gains were all but erased after a report by payrolls processor ADP showed U.S. private employers added 119,000 jobs last month, well short of expectations.
“The ADP job numbers were pretty darn weak,” said John Stephenson, senior vice president at First Asset Investment Management Inc. “So people are saying manufacturing was up but unfortunately nobody hired anyone.”
Analysts look to the ADP number as a precursor of what to expect from the U.S. Labor Department’s April jobs report on Friday.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished down 102.67 points, or 0.8 percent, to 12,230.12. It was its biggest one-day drop in more than a week.
Six of 10 main sectors in the index were lower. Losses were led by the heavyweight energy group, down 1.8 percent, and materials, which fell 1.6 percent as oil, gold and metals prices sank. <O/R> <GOL/> <MET/L>
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) was among the most influential decliners, down 2.7 percent to C$38.80, after the world’s largest gold miner reported a first-quarter profit on Wednesday, but investors remained concerned about underlying production costs.
“Costs were higher and the copper production was not what everybody was expecting so that’s putting pressure (on the stock),” said Sid Mokhtari, director of institutional equity research at CIBC World Markets.
Goldcorp (G.TO), Canada’s No.2 gold producer, fell 1.4 percent to C$37.54. Shares of Yamana Gold Inc (YRI.TO) slid 2.6 percent to C$14.15 after the gold producer also reported a higher quarterly profit on Tuesday.
Other resource firms weighing on the downside, included Teck Resources TCKb.TO, which fell 2.2 percent to C$36.39, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), down 2.3 percent to C$33.91, Suncor Energy (SU.TO), down 2.1 percent to C$32.24, and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) slid 4.3 percent to C$34.61.
Overnight, data from the euro zone showed a deepening contraction in manufacturing in the region that heightened contagion fears and increased pressure on the European Central Bank ahead of its meeting on Thursday to use bond buying and other measures to shield weaker euro members from additional pain.
China also stoked concerns after data revealed its manufacturing sector shrank for the sixth month running in April.
Research In Motion RIM.TO also continued its swoon from Tuesday, sliding 5.1 percent to C$12.63 as investors were unimpressed after the struggling BlackBerry maker gave developers a glimpse of its next-generation BlackBerry 10 smartphone.
“It’s certainly inexpensive,” said Stephenson, adding: “The only reason to buy it today would be if your view is that they’re going to come up with a plan to split up the company in some form.”
In other earnings news, Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO) tumbled 3.4 percent to C$10.96 after the miner appointed a new CEO to replace founder Robert Friedland, who was ousted last month when the company’s majority owner, global miner Rio Tinto (RIO.AX), took control over management.
Editing by Andrew Hay