Canadian investors readied for a slight drop in stocks, as their American counterparts digested jobs figures
The S&P/TSX Composite Index tumbled 215.15 points, or 1.8%, to close Thursday at 12,014.97.
The Canadian dollar traded this morning down 0.7 cents to 100.98 cents U.S.
The TSX Venture Exchange retreated 12.73 points to 1,418.48, while the Nasdaq Canada fell 12.81 points to 396.21
U.S. stock investors were on hold before Friday's open as they awaited the highly anticipated monthly jobs report.
Dow Jones industrial average, and Nasdaq futures were slightly lower, while S&P 500 were unchanged. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.
The U.S. economy is showing more signs of creaking, with the latest snapshot on employment gains falling far short of expectations.
The U.S. Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls grew by just 115,000 positions in April -- well below economists' expectations for about 160,000 job gains, and even those expectations had been set relatively low with the recent barage of disappointing economic data. The unemployment rate fell slightly, to 8.1 per cent, but that provided little optimism about this latest twist in the U.S. economic recovery.
European markets were lower in midday trading. Britain's FTSE 100 and France's CAC 40 both fell 0.8%, while DAX in Germany both slid 0.5%.
Asian markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite edged up 0.5%, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell about 1.1%. Tokyo was closed for a holiday.
Oil for June delivery fell $1.27 to $101.27 U.S. a barrel.
Gold futures for June delivery tumbled $4.30 to $1,630.50 U.S. an ounce.