North American stock market falls as coronavirus concerns overshadow job gains

TORONTO — TORONTO — North American stock markets snapped a four-day winning streak to end the week as concerns about the new coronavirus overshadowed strong job gains.

The impact of the virus on the Chinese and global economy is starting to appear as more and more information becomes available, says Philip Petursson, chief investment strategist at Manulife Investment Management.

“We’re starting to hear about disruptions in terms of retail expectations,” he said, pointing to Canada Goose, which slashed its revenue growth forecast for the year on Friday due to “material negative impact” from the outbreak.

The U.S. Federal Reserve warned on Friday that the coronavirus represents an international risk.

The U.S. economy added 225,000 jobs in January, which should be positive for stock markets. But it signals that the central bank doesn’t really need to provide any more support to the U.S. economy through interest rate cuts, Petursson said in an interview.

Canada added more than twice the number of jobs expected in January, reinforcing that the Bank of Canada also doesn’t need to step in, he added.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 102.00 points at 17,655.49. Despite Friday’s drop, the Toronto market gained 1.9 per cent for the week. U.S. markets were up three to four per cent.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 277.26 points at 29,102.51 on Friday. The S&P 500 index was down 18.07 points at 3,327.71, while the Nasdaq composite was down 51.64 points at 9,520.51.

The Canadian dollar traded for 75.16 cents US, down from an average of 75.24 cents US on Thursday even as Statistics Canada reported that the economy added 34,500 jobs in January to come in at about double expectations.

Eight of the 11 major sectors on the TSX were lower, led by health care, materials

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