TSX softens on weak oil; New York Markets drop sharply

TORONTO -- North American stock markets turned lower Friday following two days of solid advances amid declining oil prices and renewed concerns over the U.S.

See Full Article

economic recovery.

At mid-afternoon the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX index was down 58.23 points at 12,716.27 after job reports in both Canada and the United States came in below expectations.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average slumped 252.57 points to 16,164.01, while the broader S&P 500 declined 38.13 points to 1,877.32 and the Nasdaq plunged 150.27 points to 4,359.29.

In commodities, the March contract for North American benchmark crude oil slipped for a second straight day, down 84 cents to US$30.88 a barrel.

Meanwhile, the oil-sensitive Canadian dollar also retreated, down 0.76 of a U.S. cent at 71.99 cents US.

Elsewhere in commodities, the March contract for natural gas rose nine cents to US$2.07 per mmBtu, while April gold added $2.60 to US$1,160.10 a troy ounce and March copper shed five cents to US$208 a pound.

In economic news, Statistics Canada reported the unemployment rate rose to 7.2 per cent in January. Economists had expected it to be stable at 7.1 per cent.

South of the border, the Labor Department reported that U.S. employers added just 151,000 jobs in January, a sharp deceleration from recent months as companies shed education, transportation and temporary workers. That was below economists' forecasts of a creation of 185,000 jobs, according to data from Factset.

On the positive side, the unemployment rate fell to 4.9 per cent from five per cent, the lowest level since February 2008 and average wages were up 2.5 per cent over the past year to $25.39 an hour.

"It's a rather difficult report to interpret," Russ Koesterich, global market strategist with asset manager BlackRock, said of the employment numbers which came after reports earlier this week pointed to a slowdown in manufacturing in both the United States and China.

"It confirms there has been some deceleration in the U.S. economy. We're not falling off the cliff, but it clearly shows the U.S. economy is not immune to the global slowdown," Koesterich told The Associated Press.

On the other hand, the data showing hourly wages are growing could be an early sign of inflation from the perspective of the Federal Reserve, which might cause the U.S. central bank to keep raising rates even in a slowing economy, Koesterich said.

"You have the possibility of soft growth and monetary tightening, and that's not a great place to be as an investor," he said.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Hydro One's planned merger with U.S. energy firm Avista passes another hurdle

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - Hydro One Ltd. and Avista Corp. say their proposed merger has cleared another hurdle in the U.S. The two companies say the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has completed a review of the deal and found no unresolved national security concerns. Source
  • Asian markets drop despite Wall Street gains

    Economic CTV News
    BEIJING - Asian markets were mostly lower Tuesday after Wall Street gained as Italy moved toward forming a euroskeptic-led government. KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.2 per cent to 3,208.20 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.7 per cent to 6,039.20. Source
  • Anxiety lands as WestJet pilot strike looms

    Economic CBC News
    Dana Sorensen booked a WestJet flight from her home in Vancouver to Calgary, where she's racing in the upcoming ultra-marathon. But the anxiety of a looming pilots' strike was too much to bear. She paid for another flight on a different airline, a peace of mind that cost her an extra $500. Source
  • Banks poised to report strong Q2 despite housing slowdown: analysts

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Canada's biggest banks are upping the ante in the mortgage wars amid slowing growth and national housing sales at lows not seen in several years, but analysts say real estate market woes won't dent lenders' earnings, just yet. Source
  • Insider Q&A: Should investors worry about 'peak earnings?'

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Speaking about a peak suddenly made stocks weak. Investors got a rude awakening in April when executives at Caterpillar said the construction and mining equipment company didn't expect to top its first-quarter profit for the rest of the year. Source
  • From airlines to pizza parlours, EU businesses adopt data law

    Economic CTV News
    LONDON -- Lisa Meyer's hair salon is a cozy place where her mother serves homemade macaroons, children climb on chairs and customers chat above the whirr of hairdryers. Most of the time Meyer is focused on hairstyles, colour trends and keeping up with appointments. Source
  • China says it can't guarantee no more trade tension with U.S.

    Economic CTV News
    BEIJING -- China's government said Monday it cannot guarantee that renewed trade tension with Washington can be avoided after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declared a temporary truce in a spiraling dispute that prompted worries of a chilling of global commerce. Source
  • Trump pulls back from brink of trade war with China

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday hailed his administration's temporary truce with China on trade, even as his Treasury secretary and China struck a note of caution on the latest agreement. After high-level talks in Washington last week, Beijing has agreed to "substantially reduce" America's trade deficit with China. Source
  • Oregon's flooded recreational pot market a cautionary tale: economists

    Economic CBC News
    As marijuana farmers in Oregon say a flood of supply is killing their businesses less than three years after recreational cannabis was legalized, economists say it's a warning to Canada. Stephen Easton, professor of economics at Simon Fraser University and senior fellow at the Fraser Institute, says large fluctuations in price and supply are bound to happen when you create a legal market where an illegal market already exists. Source
  • Canada should heed cautionary tale of Oregon's flooded pot market

    Economic CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- As marijuana farmers in Oregon say a flood of supply is killing their businesses less than three years after recreational cannabis was legalized, economists say it's a warning to Canada. Stephen Easton, professor of economics at Simon Fraser University and senior fellow at the Fraser Institute, says large fluctuations in price and supply are bound to happen when you create a legal market where an illegal market already exists. Source