* TSX falls 106.88 pts, or 0.9 pct, at 12,362.58
* Canadian jobs data unexpectedly weak; U.S. data mixed
* Financials down more than 1 pct (Adds details, analyst’s comment)
By Jon Cook
TORONTO, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was down nearly 1 percent on Friday, hurt by weakness in North American jobs data and doubts about Europe’s bailout package.
Unexpected job losses threw the Canadian market a curve, as the economy, expected to add jobs after a strong September, lost 54,000 jobs in October, according to a Statistics Canada report. [ID:nN1E7A30MF]
“Given the kind of optimism that we have preached around here for a while about the state of the economy of Canada some people might be a little bit surprised by those numbers,” said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.
“We’ve had a losing week in North American markets and I don’t see that changing here today.”
U.S. jobs data was mixed. U.S. employers hired fewer workers in October but the jobless rate fell to a six-month low and job gains in the prior two months were stronger than previously thought, pointing to some improvement in the still-weak labor market. [ID:nN1E7A21ET]
Adding to investor worries, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said few countries in the Group of 20 leading economies had committed to a euro zone bailout fund. [MKTS/GLOB]
The Canadian financials sector led the market down, falling 1.5 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) was the biggest loser, dropping 2.1 percent to C$45.99.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 106.88 points, or 0.9 pct, at 12,362.58 by late morning. The index at one point fell more than 1 percent to hit a session low of 12,308.21.
Seven of the index’s top main sectors were negative, with energy stocks falling 1 percent and the heavily weighted materials sector down 0.6 percent.
After gaining more than 9 percent the previous session, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) was down 1.9 percent to C$37.50.
The decline offset broader market optimism after Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos promised to drop a contentious referendum plan on the debt-riddled country’s euro zone rescue fund, in the face of intense pressure from European leaders. [ID:nA8E7K1026]
Speculation of the move had sent markets soaring on Thursday, as the TSX jumped nearly 2 percent, reversing most of the losses from earlier in the week.
“Today that level of confidence is knocked back by a notch or two,” said Ketchen. (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)