North American stocks fall further after Thursday’s rout

North American markets headed lower on Friday afternoon, failing to bounce back from a steep sell-off on Thursday that sent the three U.S. benchmark indexes into correction territory.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 1.3 per cent or 309 points to 23,551, while broader barometer S&P 500 lost one per cent to 2,556.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite was down by 1.3 per cent to 6,690 points

The Dow had plunged more than 1,000 points on Thursday, pushing it, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq to fall more than 10 per cent from their record highs on Jan. 26.

That means all three indexes are now in what is considered a “correction” in the markets.

Meanwhile, the Dow is heading for its worst week in nine years.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year treasury note hovered at 2.815 per cent — near the four-year high of 2.885 hit on Monday. The bond is considered to be the global driver of borrowing costs.

As interest rates rise, the value of existing bonds falls, and borrowing to invest becomes more expensive.

“The fact that Monday’s lows were breached on Thursday signals more trouble ahead, and rallies are likely to give way to rising bond yields,” Peter Cardillo, economist at First Standard Financial in New York, told Reuters.

The CBOE Volatility index, which is the main gauge of expected volatility on Wall Street, rose to 35 in the afternoon — but still well below over 50 hit on Tuesday, which is a two and half year high.

Canada down

The Canadian market headed lower as oil prices fell and Statistics Canada released disappointing jobs data.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 1.3 per cent at 14,885 after losing 1.7 per cent on Thursday.

Economic data on Friday showed the economy had lost a surprising 88,000 jobs in January, hitting its biggest one-month decline in nine years. 

“The concentration of the job loss in Ontario and the focus upon lost part-time jobs in that province will no doubt feed debate on whether large minimum wage hikes took a toll on employment, but proving causality may remain contentious,” said Derek Holt, economist at Scotiabank in a note.

“It’s possible the Bank of Canada dismisses most of this report as a transitory adjustment to higher minimum wages,” he added.

The Canadian dollar traded at 79.21 US cents, down from Thursday’s average of 79.46 cents.

The loonie has been facing weakness from the strength of the U.S. dollar as investors fled to the safety of the reserve currency amid volatility.

Oil falls below $60

Meanwhile, benchmark U.S. crude oil fell below $60 US a barrel for the first time this year to $59.28 as investors dumped risky assets.

Concerns of oversupply the U.S. market also weighed on the commodity.

Shares of energy giants Encana were down more than five per cent, while Cenovus Energy fell more than seven per cent.

Markets around the world also reeled Friday from the sell-off on Wall Street Thursday.

Mainland Chinese shares led the declines with the Shanghai composite losing over four per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost over three per cent.

Asia’s biggest market — Japan’s Nikkei 225 index — lost 2.3 per cent.

In Europe, the benchmark Stoxx 600 index closed down 1.5 per cent, with all sectors in negative territory.


Leave a Reply