Market week: Weak U.S. jobs report slams markets
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By Fund Library News Wire  | Friday, March 08, 2019


 

By Mike Keerma

The week ended on a downbeat for major North American stock indices. The main market gauges all lost money, as investors were rattled by a low monthly U.S. job-creation report for February. In addition, Chinese export reportedly fell by 20% in February, while the European Central Bank took a decidedly more dovish tone on monetary policy, now extending its low rate regime until 2020 from an earlier plan to commence rate hikes this year. The S&P 500 Composite Index slumped 2.2% on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index retreated 2.5%. Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index fared better, edging down just below breakeven on the week, as a positive jobs report and a slight weekly increase in the price of crude oil helped buoy investor sentiment for Canadian issues.

Index

March 8 close

Day

Week

Year to Date

S&P/TSX Composite

15,996.21

-0.4%

-0.45%

11.68%

S&P 500 Composite

2,743.07

-0.2%

-2.16%

9.42%

Nasdaq Composite

7,408.14

-0.2%

-2.46%

11.65%

Gold (US$)

$1,298.60

1.0%

0.46%

1.48%

Oil (WTI) (US$)

$56.05

-1.1%

0.54%

23.43%

The U.S. Labor Department said the economy created only 22,000 new jobs in February, bearing no resemblance at all to street estimates of around 180,000 for the month. Still, unemployment ticked down to 3.8% from 4.0% in January, and wages grew at a 2.4% annual rate. On the other hand, Canada’s labour market grew by 56,000 jobs, and unemployment held steady at 5.8%. Economists generally see monthly labour market data as very volatile, and subject to revision in following months.

FUND NEWS

* Scotia fund mergers. 1832 Asset Management L.P. announced on March 7 that it plans to merge both its Scotia Latin American Fund and Scotia Pacific Rim Fund into the Scotia International Equity Fund. The mergers are subject to approval, and are expected to take effect after July 12, 2019.

* Desjardins launches two new RI ETFs. Desjardins Global Asset Management Inc. on March 7 launched of two new exchange traded funds with responsible investment mandates. The Desjardins RI Emerging Markets Multifactor Low CO2 ETF (TSX: DRFE) tracks the Scientific Beta Desjardins Emerging RI Low Carbon Multifactor Index. The Desjardins RI Global Multifactor Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF (TSX: DRFG) tracks the Scientific Beta Desjardins Global RI Fossil Fuel Reserves Free Multifactor Index.

Check Fund Library’s Market Activity page regularly for active updates on key market indexes and commodities.

@FundLibrary – Follow Fund Library on Twitter for daily information and updates.

Disclaimer

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The foregoing is for general information purposes only and is the opinion of the writer. No guarantee of investment performance is made or implied. It is not intended to provide specific personalized advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice.

   
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