Although most stock markets were closed for Easter, Friday has been a very important day for investors worldwide. From Toronto to Tokyo the markets have been waiting for the latest US employment update with many analysts expecting figures to beat forecasts. They were wrong. Employers south of the border hired fewer workers in March than at any month since December 2013 and that could mean a delay in a rise in interest rates. Manufacturing shed 13,000 jobs, more than it has done since the summer of 2013. The unemployment rate has not increased though as more people have dropped out of the workforce but are not officially jobless. While a delay in interest rate increases may be good news for some, the other side of the story is concern over some weakness showing in the US economy, especially with the strong dollar affecting exports and the continuing volatility in oil prices.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index was closed
The NYSE was closed
Oil is trending slightly lower (Brent $55.13, WTI $49.14 at 2.05pm)
Gold is trending lower
The loonie is valued at U$0.8011 (at 2.30pm)
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