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Canadian Market Modestly Lower; Technology Stocks Lose Ground

The Canadian market is down in negative territory, weighed down by losses in information technology and consumer discretionary sections.

Investors, who are digesting the jobs data from Canada and the U.S., are also closely following updates about the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which drifted down to 20,942.37, is down 50.61 points or 0.24% at 21,021.59 about half an hour before noon.

Technology stocks Hut 8 Mining Corp (HUT.TO), Docebo Inc (DCBO.TO), Shopify Inc (SHOP.TO), Tecsys Inc (TCS.TO), Lightspeed Pos (LSPD.TO) are down 2.8 to 4.5%.

Canada Goose Holdings (GOOS.TO), down 7.6%, is the biggest loser in the Consumer Discretionary Index. Martinrea International (MRE.TO), Mty Food Group (MTY.TO), Brp Inc (DOO.TO) and Linamar Corp (LNR.TO) are down 1.7 to 2%.

Data from Statistics Canada showed the Canadian economy added 54,700 jobs in December 2021, following a 153,700 gain in November and above market expectations of 27,500. Full-time employment increased by 123,000 (0.8%) in December, while part-time employment declined by 68,000 (-1.9%).

The unemployment rate in Canada declined for a seventh straight month in December, fallling to a new pandemic-low of 5.9%, from 6% in November.

Another data from Statistics Canada showed average hourly earnings in Canada increased to C$ 31.22 in December of 2021 over the previous month.

Data from the Labor Department showed non-farm payroll employment rose by 199,000 jobs in December after climbing by an upwardly revised 249,000 jobs in November. Economists had expected employment to jump by 400,000 jobs compared to the addition of 210,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Despite the weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate slid to 3.9% in December from 4.2% in November. The unemployment rate was expected to edge down to 4.1%.

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