Stock markets sag as oil hits 2-year low

Stock markets including the TSX were a sea of red on Friday, as investors digested a slew of underwhelming economic news.

Loonie hits lowest point of 2012, TSX off 140 points

Oil traders work the floor in New York. The price of a barrel of oil hit the lowest point since the summer of 2010 on Friday. (Mario Tama/AFP-Getty Images)

Stock markets were a sea of red on Friday, as investors digested a slew of negative economic news.

The S&P/TSX composite index in Toronto closed down 152.01 points, or 1.3 per cent, at 11,361.20. New York's Dow Jones industrial average was 274.88 points, or 2.2 per cent, lower at 12,118.57 for its worst single-day loss this year.

The catalyst was a report from the U.S. Labor Department saying the American economy only managed to create 69,000 jobs last month, far below the modest expectation for 158,000 jobs. The jobless rate actually ticked higher to 8.2 per cent.

The loonie shed 0.6 of a cent to 96.21 cents US. The loonie had earlier hit a 2012 low under 96 cents. The loonie was likely reacting to a Statistics Canada report showing Canadian economic growth met expectations for the first quarter, rising at an annualized pace of 1.9 per cent.

Oil was sharply lower, with the July crude contract losing $3.30 US to trade at $83.23 a barrel in New York. That's the lowest price for a barrel of oil since the summer of 2010.

Gold was one of the few investment classes to post a gain, rising $60 to cross over the $1,600 US an ounce level, finishing at $1,624.