After moving up slightly in early trades after data showed a drop in Canadian unemployment rate in the month of August, Canada’s benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index plunged sharply Friday morning.
The data showed Canada added more jobs last month, although the addition was much smaller than in the previous month.
Another strong round of selling in the technology section then pulled the market down. Materials, consumer discretionary, energy and healthcare stocks too tumbled, and several shares from financial, utilities and industrials sections dropped as well.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index was down 300.14 points or 1.82% at 16,148.75 about a quarter past noon. The index touched a high of 16,507.20 in early trades.
The Capped Information Technology Index slid 3.45%. The Materials index was down 2.8%, while Energy, Consumer Discretionary and Healthcare indices shed 1.3 to 1.7%. The Financials Index lost about 1.1%.
Among the stocks to go down on heavy volumes, Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) plunged more than 5.2%. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) shed nearly 3% and Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) slid 2.8%.
Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) were both lower by about 1.4%, while Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO), Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) lost 0.5 to 1%.
Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO), Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO), Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO), Kinross Gold (K.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO), B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO), Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO), Kirkland Lake Gold (KL.TO), Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM.TO) and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) were down 3 to 6% a little past noon.
Laurentian Bank (LB.TO) shares gained about 4.3%. The bank reported third-quarter net income of C$36.2 million or C$0.77 per share, down from C$47.8 million or C$1.05 per share in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were C$1.02 per share, compared to C$1.15 per share in the prior-year quarter, the company said.
Dye & Durham Ltd (DND.TO) shares surged up 6.5%. Air Canada (AC.TO) moved up more than 4.5% on strong volumes. SNC-Lavalin (SNC.TO) gained 1.2% and Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO) advanced nearly 1%.
According to official data released this morning, employment in Canada increased by 245,800 in August 2020, less than an expected addition of about 275,000 jobs, and addition of 418,500 jobs in July.
Full time employment increased by 205,800 in the month, while part time employment decreased to 40,000 in August from 345,300 a month earlier.
Meanwhile, unemployment rate decreased to 10.2% in August from 10.9% in the previous month.
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