Equities in Canada’s largest centre slid on Thursday after data showed domestic factory sales slumped in March and as the World Health Organization warned the coronavirus may never go away.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index came off its lows of the morning, and approached noon EDT Thursday down 141.87 points, or 1% at 14,361.34.
The Canadian dollar nicked up 0.03 cents to 70.96 cents U.S.
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could become endemic like HIV, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, raising fears of a longer-than-expected economic recovery.
Shawcor fell 11 cents, or 6.6%, to $1.55, after the company reported first -uarter results.
The second biggest decliner was Hexo Corp, down three cents, or 4.7%, to 61 cents, after the cannabis company received a notification from NYSE saying the company is no longer in compliance with price listing standards.
The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was power producer Northland Power which jumped 99 cents, or 3.4%, to $30.24, after the company reported quarterly results.
Its gains were followed by Torex Gold Resources which rose 77 cents, or 4.4%, to $18.46, after the company said it will resume full production at its El Limón Guajes mining complex by end of this month.
In the economic docket, Statistics Canada reported manufacturing sales fell 9.2% to $50.8 billion in March, the lowest level since June 2016 and the largest percentage decline since December 2008, during the previous recession.
The TSX Venture Exchange inched forward 0.67 points to 494.08.
All but three of the 12 TSX were lower midday, as health-care shed 2%, information technology, off 1.9%, and consumer staples, down 1.3%.
The two gainers proved to be gold, up 3.8%, materials, ahead 2.4%, and energy, surging ahead 0.4%.
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Stocks fell on Thursday after another dismal round of U.S. unemployment data, but gains in bank shares helped Wall Street keep the session’s losses in check.
The Dow Jones Industrials recovered from heavy losses in the morning, and forged a gain of 34.9 points to 23,282.87
The S&P 500 shed 4.43 points to 2,815.23.
The NASDAQ slumped 48.88 points to 8,814.29. Both S&P and NASDAQ were on track for their third consecutive negative sessions.
Raytheon Technologies and Walgreens Boots Alliance fell 3% each to lead the Dow lower on Thursday.
Real estate and industrials dropped more than 1%, making them the biggest laggards in the S&P 500. However, bank shares such as Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase gained more than 1% each, offsetting some of the losses elsewhere in the market. Wells Fargo climbed 6%.
The U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday a total of 2.981 million Americans filed unemployment insurance during the week ending May 9. The number came in worse than expectations of 2.7 million new claims, according to economists polled by Dow Jones.
Prices for the 10-Year Treasury grew, lowering yields to 0.61% from Wednesday’s 0.65%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices gained $1.07 to $26.36 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices jumped $26.80 to $1,743.20 U.S. an ounce.
Stocks Rebound from Earlier Losses