NEWS
05/03/2016 10:57 EDT | Updated 05/04/2017 01:12 EDT

TSX, Wall Street see broad declines amid Chinese manufacturing concerns

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market fell more than 200 points this morning, pressured by broad declines from all sectors and weak manufacturing data from China.

The S&P/TSX composite index retreated 229.24 points to 13,636.39.

Metals and mining was the heaviest weight on the Toronto Stock Exchange, with miner HudBay Minerals (TSX:HBM) losing more than nine per cent. The energy sector also pulled down the index, with Encana down more than 10 per cent as the oil company reported a US$379-million net loss for the first quarter as revenue fell 40 per cent from last year.

The pessimism from investors also pulsated through New York markets in early morning trading.

New York was in the red, the Dow Jones industrial average plunging 177.71 points to 17,713.45 and the Nasdaq composite falling 57.24 points to 4,760.35. The S&P 500 was down 22.53 points to 2,058.90.

The Canadian dollar also retreated, dropping 0.84 of a U.S. cent to 78.93 cents US. Last week the loonie hit 80 cents US in intraday trading. The last time the loonie closed above 80 cents US was on June 30, 2015.

The loonie's recent increase from a multi-year low in January has been linked to higher oil prices and a weakening U.S. dollar.

Data overnight from China renewed concerns about a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy, a major consumer of raw materials.

The Caixin magazine's purchasing managers' index for the manufacturing sector declined to a reading of 49.4 points from March's reading of 49.7. A number below 50 indicates the Chinese manufacturing sector is contracting. Worries about China were largely responsible for the turmoil in global financial markets in the early part of the year. 

Compounding the worries about China, Australia's central bank unexpectedly cut interest rates to a record low. Australia's economy has been battered as commodity prices have plummeted and other parts of the developed world have slowed down. The news sent the Australian dollar down more than two  per cent.

In commodities, the June contract for a North American benchmark crude oil faded $1.13 to US$43.65 a barrel. June natural gas rose five cents to $2.09 per mmBtu, while June gold contracts fell US$8.80 at US$1,287 an ounce. July copper lost five cents to US$2.21 a pound.

— With files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press