November 4, 2011 / 3:34 PM / 7 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX down nearly 1 pct on weak jobs data, EU fears

 * 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)                 

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