TORONTO — North American equity markets were sharply lower following a U.S. job figures report viewed as solid enough to justify an interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The S&P/TSX composite index was down 118.10 points at 13,478.31 as a positive report on job creation in August from Statistics Canada was blunted by an increase in the unemployment rate.
The loonie gave back 0.40 of a U.S. cent to 75.39 cents US.
In New York, markets plunged after the Labor Department reported that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to a seven-year low in August even as employers added fewer jobs than forecast.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 272.38 points to 16,102.38, while the S&P 500 index lost 29.91 points to 1,921.22 and the Nasdaq was down 49.58 points at 4,683.92.
On the commodity markets, the October crude contract lost 70 cents to US$46.05 barrel, October natural gas gave back seven cents to US$2.66 per thousand cubic feet and December copper plunged seven cents to U.S. $2.31 a pound. December gold fell $3.10 to US$1,121.40 an ounce.