Stocks end the week lower on jobs data
Canada and the US both released the latest jobs updates Friday and caused concern both sides of the border…and beyond.
While Canada saw an increase in unemployment the US saw a decline, fuelling concern that the Fed may increase interest rates again. Although the timing of any rise is still uncertain, opinion had been turning away from an increase due to other economic factors.
Oil prices fell again, hitting energy stocks, although the decline in equities was across all sectors.
Asian indexes had closed earlier in the day mostly lower and European markets closed lower on the jobs data and oil prices.
Wall Street closed lower with the tech sector dragging on the Nasdaq.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 10.51 (0.08 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed down 211.8 (1.29 per cent)
Oil is trending lower (Brent $34.13, WTI $31.01 at 4.40pm)
Gold is trending lower (1172.90 at 4.40pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7193
Canada’s unemployment increases, Blackberry announces lay-offs
While the US revealed a decrease in unemployment to an 8-year low of 4.9 per cent, Statistics Canada reported an increase. Employment was virtually unchanged but unemployment was up to 7.2 per cent from 6.6 per cent a year ago.
There were fewer people working in Alberta, Manitoba as well as Newfoundland and Labrador in January. On the other hand, Ontario was the lone province with an employment increase.
However, the province was hit by news of job losses at Waterloo-based Blackberry. The firm is to lay-off an undisclosed number of workers in Canada but has specified that 75 roles will go at its Florida office.
Trade deficit narrowed in December
Canada's exports increased 3.9 per cent in December and imports were up 1.6 per cent. Export volumes increased 2.1 per cent and prices 1.8 per cent. For imports, volumes were up 1.5 per cent and prices 0.1 per cent. Consequently, Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed from $1.6 billion in November to $585 million in December.
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