The Toronto stock market kicked off June trading with a sharp loss Friday and commodity prices hit fresh multi-month lows amid data showing a big drop in U.S. job creation last month and a further slowing of China's economy.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index was still wallowing by noon, off 105.15 points to 11,408.06, off its lows of the morning.
The Canadian dollar traded lower by 0.51 to 96.30 cents U.S.
The energy sector dropped sharply as Suncor Energy fell 68 cents to $27.35 and Canadian Natural Resources gave back $1.02 to $28.64.
The base metals sector also gave back gains as the July copper contract on the Nymex fell two cents to $3.34 U.S. a pound after dropping 12.43% in May.
Copper is widely viewed as a key economic barometer as it is used in so many industries and China has been the biggest purchaser of the metal. Teck Resources lost 62 cents to $30.32 while HudBay Minerals shed 14 cents to $7.45.
The financials sector also weighed on the TSX, with TD Bank $1.19 lower to $77.78 while CIBC lost $1.14 to $70.93.
The gold sector limited TSX losses, as Goldcorp Inc. jumped $2.11 to $39.81 while Barrick Gold Corp. improved by $2.08 to $42.67.
On the economic ledger, Statistics Canada said growth in the economy remained moderate in the first quarter of 2012, rising only 1.9% at an annual rate and consistent with expectations going into the report. The increase was unchanged from growth in the fourth quarter which was revised up slightly from 1.8%.
The TSX Venture Exchange was in the red 3.69 points to 1,286.04. The Nasdaq Canada index slumped 4.31 points to 356.43
All but two of the 14 Toronto subgroups remained negative by lunch time. Energy stocks slipped 2.9%, while health-care issues drooped 2.6% and financials backtracked 2.4%.
The two gainers were in gold, leaping 7.1%, and materials, picking up 3.8%.
U.S. stocks sank Friday, with the Dow erasing all its gains for the year, and the 10-year yield on U.S. Treasuries at another record low, after a U.S. jobs report fell far short of expectations.
The Dow Jones Industrials collapsed 212.56 points, or 1.7%, to reach the noon hour ET at 12,180.89
The S&P 500 erased 24.96 points to 1,285.37. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index capsized 61.01 points to 2,766.33.
The selloff was broad, with all 30 Dow components in the red, and 95% of the S&P 500 trading lower.
Shares of Facebook hit a fresh low of $26.83 U.S. Thursday before bouncing back, ending the day up 5% at $29.60 U.S. The stock resumed its downward push Friday, shedding nearly 5% in early trading.
Shares of food producer Sara Lee slipped after the company said it was spinning off its international coffee and tea business, which will pay a special dividend to existing Sara Lee shareholders. Sara Lee also announced a 1-for-5 reverse stock split.
BP said it was considering selling its 50% stake in TNK-BP, a Russian oil joint venture, after it received an unsolicited bid for the holding. Shares of BP gained ground.
Groupon shares fell. The online discount service, which has been dogged with questions about its accounting practices since its initial public offering in November, ends its lock-up period Friday, meaning that insiders who own shares will be able to sell them.
The nation's Big Three automakers -- General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler -- all reported a jump in car sales in May, but the results were less than expected by some analysts -- another sign that the U.S. economy, while growing, remains weaker than hoped.
Markets were also under pressure due to weakness in Chinese manufacturing figures and a report showing euro-zone unemployment rate at a record high of 11%.
Two manufacturing reports out of China Friday morning showed that the sector contracted more than expected in May, fueling investors concerns that the country may be headed for a hard landing.
As global economic growth has slowed in the last year, exports to Europe -- China's largest foreign market -- have taken a hit as the debt-ridden region teeters on the brink of recession.
Employers in Europe slashed 110,000 jobs across the euro-zone in April, as the unemployment rate hit 11% -- the highest level since the creation of the common currency. A new manufacturing reading there Friday also showed more weakness.
Worries about Spain's possible inability to fund bank bailouts continue to build. The yield on 10-year Spanish debt climbed back to 6.6% Friday. Meanwhile the flight to quality took the yield on the German 10-year down to a record low of 1.16%, while the two-year German bond briefly had a negative yield.
Economically speaking, the jobs report showed only 69,000 jobs added to payrolls, less than half the 150,000 jobs forecast by economists. The unemployment rate ticked higher for the first time in a year, rising to 8.2%.
Elsewhere, personal income and personal spending for April in the U.S. increased 0.2%. Analysts had expected the figure to increase by 0.3%.
The May installment of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Index showed that U.S. manufacturing growth slowed in May. The index fell to 54.5, down from 54.8 last month and below expectations of 54. Any reading above 50 indicates growth in the sector.
April construction spending rose by 0.3%, but that was below forecasts for a 0.5% rise.
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury continued its climb, lowering yields to 1.48%, even below Thursday's record low of 1.58%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
The price of a barrel of oil fell $3.12 Friday to $83.43 U.S.
The price of gold soared $51.00, or 3.2%, to $1,614.80 U.S. an ounce.