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Canadian Stocks Are Down After Weak Jobs Report - Canadian Commentary

The Canadian stock market is losing ground in early trade Friday, following the release of the weaker than expected Canadian employment report. Data from Statistics Canada showed that the economy lost 88,000 jobs in January. This follows an addition of 64,800 jobs in December and contradicts expectations for an increase of 10,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate increased to 5.9 percent from a revised 5.8 percent. Economists were looking for a rate of 5.8 percent.

Markets in Europe are trading lower on Friday as worries over rising bond yields and budget disputes in Washington has investors in a nervous mood.

Markets on Wall Street got off to a positive start Friday, but has since pared their early gains. Traders reacted positively to the news that lawmakers managed to end a brief government shutdown with a bill raising spending caps and funding the government until March 23rd.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is down 46.06 points or 0.31 percent at 15,019.55.

On Thursday, the index closed down 264.97 points or 1.73 percent, at 15,065.61. The index scaled an intraday high of 15,359.53 and a low of 15,065.55.

The Capped Healthcare Index is lower by 1.20 percent. Concordia International (CXR.TO) is declining 2.50 percent and Extendicare (EXE.TO) is down 0.77 percent.

The Gold Index is decreasing 1.17 percent. Gold prices are down slightly in early trade Friday, adding to recent losses despite massive volatility stocks.

Goldcorp (G.TO) is weakening by 1.51 percent and Kinross Gold (K.TO) is surrendering 0.80 percent. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is down 0.90 percent and IAMGOLD (IMG.TO) is decreasing 1.33 percent. Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) is falling 4.17 percent and B2Gold (BTO.TO) is losing 2.51 percent.

The Capped Materials Index is down 0.88 percent. Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) is declining 1.18 percent and Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) is falling 0.88 percent. Nutrien (NTR.TO) is decreasing 1.07 percent.

The heavyweight Financial Index is decreasing 0.32 percent. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is weakening by 0.31 percent and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) is down 0.18 percent. National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) is losing 0.59 percent and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is decreasing 0.79 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) is falling 0.76 percent.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is lower by 0.55 percent. The company is being criticized for another technical breakdown on its trading platform. Clients are reporting they have been unable to execute trades during the recent volatility in global stocks. RBC apologized.

The Energy Index is falling 0.21 percent. Crude oil prices continue to fall Friday morning amid a stronger U.S. dollar and robust U.S. production.

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is losing 0.35 percent and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is declining 3.70 percent. Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is falling 2.49 percent and Enbridge (ENB.TO) is losing 0.58 percent. Encana (ECA.TO) is decreasing 2.26 percent.

The Capped Industrials Index is down 0.23 percent. Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) is falling 1.09 percent and Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) is declining 0.58 percent. WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO) is losing 0.50 percent and Bombardier (BBD-B.TO) is surrendering 1.87 percent. Finning International (FTT.TO) is declining 0.87 percent.

Cameco Corp. (CCO.TO) is falling 0.89 percent. The company said its bottom line came in at C$181 million, or C$0.46 per share. This was up from C$90 million, or C$0.23 per share, in last year's fourth quarter.

On the economic front, China's consumer and producer price inflation slowed in January, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Friday. Consumer prices climbed 1.5 percent year-on-year in January, the weakest in four months, after rising 1.8 percent in December. The rate came in line with expectations.

France's industrial production expanded more than expected in December reversing a drop in November, the statistical office Insee said Friday. Industrial production grew 0.5 percent month-on-month in December, in contrast to a 0.3 percent fall in November. Output was expected to grow 0.1 percent.

UK industrial production declined in December as the closure of the Forties pipeline dampened oil and gas extraction, while manufacturing continued to expand for the eighth straight month. Industrial output contracted 1.3 percent month-on-month in December, which was the first fall in nine months, the Office for National Statistics reported Friday.

Economists had forecast output to drop moderately by 0.9 percent after expanding 0.3 percent in November.

The UK visible trade deficit widened at the end of the year, data published by the Office for National Statistics showed Friday. The visible trade deficit rose to GBP 13.57 billion in December from GBP 12.45 billion in November. The expected level of shortfall was GBP 11.55 billion.

A report released by the Commerce Department on Friday showed wholesale inventories in the U.S. increased by more than anticipated in the month of December. The Commerce Department said wholesale inventories rose by 0.4 percent in December after climbing by a revised 0.6 percent in November. Economists had expected inventories to edge up by 0.2 percent.

In commodities, crude oil futures for March delivery are down 0.89 or 1.46 percent at $60.26 a barrel.

Natural gas for March is down 0.087 or 3.23 percent at $2.61 per million btu.

Gold futures for April are down 5.50 or 0.42 percent at $1,313.50 an ounce.

Silver for March is down 0.156 or 0.95 percent at $16.185 an ounce.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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