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At the open: TSX, crude oil, down after U.S. jobs report

Workers hang a 'For Sale' sign at a closed business in Stockton. City officials have said the only option to close a deficit of $26-million (U.S.) was to declare Chapter 9 bankruptcy, which is rare for municipal debt issuers.


The Toronto stock market is lower as weak U.S. jobs data added to worries that the global economy is slowing faster than previously thought.

The TSX/S&P composite index fell 85.23 points to 11,731.68 as the American economy only managed to crank out 80,000 jobs last month, below already modest expectations for 90,000 positions.

The Dow Jones industrials fell 120.19 points to 12,776.48. The Nasdaq composite index lost 18.87 points to 2,957.25 and the S&P 500 index off 8.17 points to 1,359.41.

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The U.S. economy has added just 75,000 jobs a month in the April-June quarter. That's one-third of 226,000 a month created in the first quarter. Job creation is also trailing last year's pace through the first six months of 2012.

A weaker job market has made U.S. consumers less confident. They have pulled back on spending, even though gas prices have plunged.

Lower demand prospects pushed oil down $2.40 to US$84.82 a barrel.

Crude has plummeted from $106 (U.S.) two months ago as Europe's economic and political turmoil dampens global growth expectations.

"We still believe that disappointing economic data going forward, while suggesting curtailed oil demand, will also increase the likelihood of some form of stimulus capable of reviving oil's appeal," energy trader and consultant Ritterbusch and Associates said in a report.

The Canadian dollar was down 0.17 of a cent to 98.41 cents as traders also took in tepid domestic job creation figures from Statistics Canada. The agency said 7,300 jobs were created during June, which was slightly better than expectations.

Still, Job growth slowed in June for a second straight month in a reality check after outsized employment gains earlier this year.

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The jobs data is not worrying enough to push the Bank of Canada closer to an interest rate increase for the first time since September 2010, analysts said.

"We would have needed either a huge disappointment or a huge gain to really see any movement at all in expectations on the Bank of Canada," said Blake Jespersen, managing director of foreign exchange sales at BMO Capital Markets.

The biggest job gains in the month were in the services industry, while the goods-producing sector shrank its work force. The biggest declines were in agriculture, natural resources and construction.

Public sector hiring was strong, with some 38,900 workers added, while the private sector laid off 26,000 employees.

Nearly 30,000 full-time jobs were created, while 22,000 part-time ones were lost in the month.

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