WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - The Canadian stock market ended on a weak note Friday after staying in the red right through the session amid mounting worries about global economic growth after disappointing jobs data and exports numbers from the U.S. and China, respectively. Weak crude oil prices weighed as well.
Continued uncertainty about Brexit and U.S.-China trade negotiations too contributed to the weakness in markets across the globe.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 60.30 points, or 0.38%, at 15,996.21, well off the day's low of 15,891.94. The index touched a high of 16,000.79 in the session.
On Thursday, the index ended down 35.56 points, or 0.22%, at 16,056.51.
On the economic front, data released by Statistics Canada before the opening bell showed the economy created 56,000 jobs in February. The unemployment rate came in unchanged at 5.8% as the number of people searching for work held steady.
Meanwhile, a report from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said the trend in housing starts was 203,554 units in February, down from 207,742 units a month earlier.
The Capped Energy Index shed 2.17% with several top notch stocks in the section posting sharp losses.
Materials stocks moved higher thanks to a surge in gold prices. Financial, industrial, consumer discretionary, healthcare and information technology stocks ended mixed, while consumer staples eased.
Suncor Energy (SU.TO), Encana Corporation (ECA.TO), Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO) and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) lost 1 to 2.5% and MEG Energy (MEG.TO) declined 3.7%, while Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) moved up 2.5%.
Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO) gained 2.2% on reports the company's CEO Mark Bristow said Barrick is having constructive talks with Newmont Mining Corp about a possible joint venture in Nevada.
Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) jumped nearly 8% and Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO) ended nearly 1% up. Goldcorp Inc., Yamana Gold Inc. and Glencore International AG announced that they have signed an integration agreement to develop and operate the Agua Rica project, using the existing infrastructure and facilities of Minera Alumbrera Limited in the Catamarca Province of Argentina.
IAM Gold Corporation (IMG.TO) rose nearly 11% and Kinross Gold Corporation (K.TO) ended 6.2% up.
In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.59, or 1%, at $56.07 a barrel.
Gold futures for April ended up $13.20, or 1%, at $1,299.30 an ounce.
Silver futures for May ended up $0.309, at $15.349 an ounce, while Copper futures for May settled at $2.8935, losing $0.0170 in the session.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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