May 1 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Friday on U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to slap new tariffs on China over the coronavirus crisis, and as data showed Canadian manufacturing activity slumped to a record low in April.
Trump said late on Thursday his trade deal with China was now of secondary importance to the pandemic, as his administration crafted retaliatory measures over the outbreak.
The move set a dour tone for future negotiations, given that Washington and Beijing were yet to fully de-escalate their nearly two year-long trade war, with a phase-one deal in 2019 serving only as a placeholder.
* At 09:39 a.m. ET (13:39 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 181.94 points, or 1.23%, at 14,598.8.
* Data on Friday showed the coronavirus outbreak moved some Canadian factories to halt production and new orders crumbled, leading to manufacturing activity in the last month tumbling to its weakest on record.
* Canada’s top medical officer said the country’s coronavirus curve is flat but worrying trends are emerging, particularly outbreaks in vulnerable indigenous communities.
* Meanwhile, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the appointment of Tiff Macklem, a former senior deputy at the Bank of Canada, as its next governor.
* The energy sector dropped 1.1% with Imperial Oil down 3.3% as it swung to a loss..
* The financials sector slipped 2%, while the industrials sector fell 1.5%.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 1%.
* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was gold miner Agnico Eagle Mines, which jumped 5.9% after multiple brokerages raised price target on stock after its quartetly profit topped estimates.
* The second biggest gainer was Pretium Resources, which rose 4% after it maintained its full year production forecast.
* On the TSX, 32 issues were higher, while 193 issues declined for a 6.03-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 19.88 million shares traded.
* Lightspeed POS Inc fell 8.4%, the most on the TSX, followed by Cineplex, down 8.3%.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Stagezero Life Sciences; Bombardier and Baytex Energy Co.
* The TSX posted 1 new 52-week high and no new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues there were 2 new 52-week highs and no new lows, with total volume of 40.62 million shares. (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)
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