Canada’s benchmark stock index closed lower on Wednesday as top banks extended declines, weighing down the heavyweight financial sector. The utilities and telecom sectors were the only gainers. Chinese markets were closed for the Qingming Festival.

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Weaker than expected US private payrolls data added to worries about a possible recession on the horizon. Losses were mitigated by solid gains for a few large stocks, such as Johnson & Johnson, who said it would pay $8.9 billion to settle claims that its talc products caused cancer, while FedEx climbed higher after announcing a reorganization and dividend hike.

Today in the Markets

TSX 20,159.55 -116.21 TSX
TSXV 622.78 -7.26 TSXV
CSE 161.07 -1.87 TSXV
DJIA 33,482.72 +80.34 DJIA
NASDAQ 11,996.86 -129.47 NASDAQ
S&P 500 4,090.90 -9.70 S&P 500

The Canadian dollar traded for 74.28 cents US, compared to 74.35 cents US on Tuesday.

US crude futures traded $0.26 lower at $80.45 a barrel, and the Brent contract lost $0.10 to $84.84 a barrel.

The price of gold was up US$0.36 to US$2,022.18.

In world markets, the Nikkei was down 474.16 points to 27,813.26, the Hang Seng remained at 20,274.59, the FTSE was up 28.42 points to 7,662.94, and the DAX was down 83.30 points to 15,520.17.

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