Equities in Canada’s largest market fell on Friday, weighed by materials sector as gold prices took a hit and more job cuts for the first time since April due to the coronavirus.
The TSX remained negative 30.3 points to move into noon hour Friday at 19.997.27.
The Canadian dollar faded 0.10 cents to 78.73 cents U.S.
The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Cascades, which jumped 68 cents, or 4.6% to $15.45, after RBC raised the price target to $18 from $17, and Boralex, which rose $6.87, or 3.6%, to $56.00. .
Silvercorp Metals fell 67 cents, or 7.9%, the most on the TSX, to $7.85. The second biggest decliner was Fortuna Silver Mines, down 91 cents, or 7.7%, to $10.95.
On the economic beat, Statistics Canada said employment fell by 63,000 (or 0.3%) in December—the first decline since April. The unemployment rate was 8.6%, little changed from 8.5% in November.
Analysts have raised their forecasts for the Canadian dollar, expecting the economy to benefit from fiscal stimulus and higher oil prices but after a 10-month rally the currency is set for a period of consolidation.
The TSX Venture Exchange tumbled 16.85 points, or 1.8%, to 898.22.
Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups gained ground midday, with health-care leaping 1.7%, information technology better by 1.4%, and utilities up 1.2%.
The four laggards were weighed most by gold, down 3.9%, materials, sliding 3.2%, and energy, off 1.2%.
The S&P 500 and NASDAQ rose to record highs on Friday even after the release of data showing the U.S. economy unexpectedly lost jobs last month. Those gains put the market benchmark on track to end the first trading week of 2021 on a high note.
The Dow Jones Industrials slid 21.15 points to 31,019.18.
The S&P 500 strengthened 13.94 points to 3,817.73, to hit a fresh intraday record. Consumer discretionary and real estate stocks led the S&P 500 higher, with both sectors rising more than 1% each.
The NASDAQ jumped 110.75 points to 13,178.92, adding to its all-time high. Tesla popped 7.7% to an all-time high, lifting the NASDAQ.
The U.S. economy lost 140,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department said. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a gain of 50,000.
The unexpected drop in employment came as the recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the country has forced state and local governments to re-take stricter measures to mitigate the outbreak. More than 21.5 million coronavirus cases have now been confirmed in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Prices for the 10-Year Treasury faded, raising yields to 1.12% from Thursday’s 1.08%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices gained 69 cents to $51.52 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices gave back $61.20 to $1,852.40 U.S. an ounce.