RTTNews - Toronto stocks fell to an eight-day low on Thursday as a disappointing U.S. employment report raised concerns over the global economic recovery.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 129.00 points or 1.24% to finish at 10,245.91. The main index returned from Wednesday's holiday break with its second straight negative close.
Energy stocks dropped 4.1%, led by a 6.25% plunge for Suncor (SU.TO). Canadian Oil Sands (COS.UN.TO) dropped 4.6%, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) lost 4.6% and Encana (ECA.TO) fell 3%.
Light sweet crude oil for August delivery closed at $66.73 per barrel, down $2.58. This marked the lowest close since June 3.
Gastar Exploration (YGA.TO) surged 46.7% after the oil and gas explorer announced it has agreed to sell its entire interest in petroleum exploration licenses in New South Wales, Australia and the shares of Gastar Power Pty to affiliates of Santos for an aggregate amount of US$240 million.
Materials stocks posted a 1.9% gain. Potash (POT.TO) rallied 2.4% as Russia's second-largest potash producer, OAO Uralkali, said it boosted prices by 20%, according to Bloomberg.
In other corporate news, Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) fell 2.8% after the stock was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform by Raymond James.
Research in Motion (RIM.TO) dropped 2.1% as the Blackberry-maker's stock was initiated at Outperform with a target price of $100 at BMO Capital.
EXFO Electro-Optical (EXF.TO) lost 5.4% despite being upgraded to Overweight from Market Weight with a price target of $4 by Thomas Weisel.
Bombardier (BBD.B.TO) declined 2.9% after the company said Tuesday after the close that it has signed a contract with the Toronto Transit Commission for the supply of streetcars.
CanWest Global Communications (CGS.TO) dropped 3.2% after the company agreed to sell two small television stations in Montreal and Hamilton in a deal that is believed to be worth less than $5,000, according to the Globe and Mail.
Paramount Gold and Silver Corp. (PZG.TO) lost 3.5% after the company announced a property option amendment agreement of its Morelos Project situated in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico.
SNC-Lavalin (SNC.TO) rose 1.3% after the company announced it has signed an agreement to invest approximately US$70 million for a 20% interest in Astoria Energy II to develop, own and operate a new natural gas power plant in greater New York City.
On the economic front in the U.S., a Labor Department report showed that non-farm payroll employment fell by 467,000 jobs in June following a revised decrease of 322,000 jobs in May. Economists had been expected a decrease of about 365,000 jobs compared to the loss of 345,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
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