The Toronto stock index sank like a stone on Friday following sharp losses in global equity and commodity markets, as a slew of economic data from euro-zone and China fueled worries about global recovery.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index dropped sharply at the outset, falling 141.54 points, or 1.2%, to 11,371.63
The Canadian dollar traded lower by 0.49 to 96.32 cents U.S.
This morning brings news that Cequence Energy Ltd. said it will buy Open Energy in an all-stock deal that values the oil and gas company at about $97 million, as it looks to tap into liquids-rich natural gas assets in Alberta.
Research In Motion is free to use the BBM moniker for its popular BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging service after a court ruled the use did not infringe on the trademark of a company that measures Canadian television and radio audiences.
On the economic ledger, Statistics Canada said growth in the economy remained moderate in the first quarter of 2012, rising only 1.9% at an annual rate and consistent with expectations going into the report. The increase was unchanged from growth in the fourth quarter which was revised up slightly from 1.8%.
The TSX Venture Exchange dumped 9.09 points to 1,280.64. The Nasdaq Canada index slumped 3.74 points to 352.69
All but two of the 14 Toronto subgroups went south at the opening. Energy stocks slipped 3.2%, while metals and mining issues gave back 2.6%, and consumer discretionary stocks eased 1.8%.
The two gainers were in gold, leaping 4.3%, and materials, picking up 2%.
U.S. stocks sank more than 1.4% at Friday's open, with the Dow briefly erasing all its gains for the year, the 10-year yield on U.S. Treasuries hitting another record low and a world market selloff gaining after a U.S. jobs report fell far short of expectations.
The Dow Jones Industrials collapsed 161.59 points, or 1.3%, to begin a turbulent day at 12,231.86
The S&P 500 erased 19.65 points to 1,290.68. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index capsized 43.43 points to 2,783.91
Shares of Facebook hit a fresh low of $26.83 U.S. Thursday before bouncing back, ending the day up 5% at $29.60 U.S. The stock resumed its downward push Friday, shedding 3% in early trading.
Shares of food producer Sara Lee slipped after the company said it was spinning off its international coffee and tea business, which will pay a special dividend to existing Sara Lee shareholders. Sara Lee also announced a 1-for-5 reverse stock split.
Oil company BP said it was considering selling its 50% stake in TNK-BP, a Russian oil joint venture, after it received an unsolicited bid for that holding. Shares of BP gained ground.
Groupon shares fell. The online discount service, which has been dogged with questions about its accounting practices since its initial public offering in November, has its lock-up period end today, meaning that insiders who own shares will be able to sell them.
Automakers are due to report May sales throughout the day Friday, and industry-wide U.S. sales could reach the highest level since 2007, according to forecasts.
U.S. automakers General Motors and Ford Motor are both forecast to post double-digit sales gains, but they're likely to lose market share to Toyota Motor, Honda which are both expected to post 40% or larger increases compared to weak sales results a year ago. Chrysler Group posted a 30% increase in sales, but that was far below forecast gains.
Markets were also under pressure due to weakness in Chinese manufacturing figures and a report showing euro-zone unemployment rate at a record high of 11%.
Two manufacturing reports out of China Friday morning showed that the sector contracted more than expected in May, fueling investors concerns that the country may be headed for a hard landing.
As global economic growth has slowed in the last year, exports to Europe -- China's largest foreign market -- have taken a hit as the debt-ridden region teeters on the brink of recession.
Employers in Europe slashed 110,000 jobs across the euro-zone in April, as the unemployment rate hit 11% -- the highest level since the creation of the common currency. A new manufacturing reading there Friday also showed more weakness.
Worries about Spain's possible inability to fund bank bailouts continue to build. The yield on 10-year Spanish debt climbed back to 6.6% Friday. Meanwhile the flight to quality took the yield on the German 10-year down to a record low of 1.16%, while the two-year German bond briefly had a negative yield.
Economically speaking, the jobs report showed only 69,000 jobs added to payrolls, less than half the 150,000 jobs forecast by economists. The unemployment rate ticked higher for the first time in a year, rising to 8.2%.
Elsewhere, personal income and personal spending for April in the U.S. increased 0.2%. Analysts had expected the figure to increase by 0.3%.
The May installment of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Index is expected to come in at 54, down from 54.8 last month. April construction spending is expected to have increased by 0.5%
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury continued its climb, lowering yields to 1.48%, even below Thursday's record low of 1.58%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
The price of a barrel of oil fell $2.22 early Friday to $84.31 U.S.
Gold futures for August delivery rose $22.10 to $1,586.30 U.S. an ounce.