June 17th, 2024

TSX falls more than 200 points Friday, U.S. markets retreat after jobs reports

By Rosa Saba, The Canadian Press on June 7, 2024.

The Bay Street Financial District is shown next to the CN Tower in Toronto on Friday, August 5, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

TORONTO – Canada’s main stock index fell one per cent Friday, led by industrials, utilities and base metals, while U.S. markets retreated as both countries released new information about their job markets.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 222.10 points at 22,007.00.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 87.18 points at 38,798.99.The S&P 500 index was down 5.97 points at 5,346.99, while the Nasdaq composite was down 40.00 points at 17,133.13.

The latest report on the U.S. labour market showed that the country added 272,000 jobs in May, an acceleration from April, even as the unemployment rate edged higher.

“The jobs report came in much stronger than expected. And of course, that implies that there’s significant wage pressure on the U.S. economy,” said Andrew Buntain, vice president and portfolio manager at Fiduciary Trust Canada.

“Overall, the jobs number basically implies that the American consumer is still resilient.”

That’s good news for some parts of the economy, he said, but bad news for those looking for interest rate cuts.

Friday’s report solidified expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will wait until September to begin lowering its key interest rate, said Buntain. Next week’s decision is all but set, he added, with Fed officials unlikely to change their tune.

“(Fed chair) Jerome Powell is under an enormous amount of pressure when it comes to rate policy,” he said.

In Canada, the economy added 27,000 jobs, but the unemployment rate rose to 6.2 per cent. The report was largely in line with forecasts.

The Bank of Canada was the first of the G7 central banks to cut rates this week, followed by the European Central Bank a day later.

Canada’s economy is more rate sensitive and the economic data has been showing that strain, in comparison to ongoing strength in the U.S.

While the cut came as welcome news to many, it’s also just a small step, noted Buntain. But the relative strength of Friday’s report makes a second cut in July less likely, he added.

“One cut is not going to give the Canadian consumer the relief that they’re looking for,” said Buntain.

“They’ll look for more, but this jobs report suggests that the likelihood of a July cut from the Bank of Canada is less than it was 48 hours ago.”

The Canadian dollar traded for 72.78 cents US compared with 73.07 cents US on Thursday.

The July crude oil contract was down two cents at US$75.53 per barrel and the July natural gas contract was up 10 cents at US$2.92 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The August gold contract was down US$65.90 at US$2,325 an ounce and the July copper contract was down 20 cents at US$4.48 a pound.

– With files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 7, 2024.

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD)

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