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AFTER THE BELL:  TSX, Dow fall on U.S./China trade fears; Trump says he won’t meet with Chinese president ahead of deadline

Global economic growth and trade concerns eclipsed a robust Canadian jobs report, hauling Canada’s stock exchange into negative territory.

Stats Canada reporting that the nation added 66,800 jobs in January didn’t lift investor sentiment, as the TSX lost 70 points.

Last month’s employment gains were entirely driven by private sector, with 112,000 new hires, while the number of employed youth aged 15 to 24 was up 53,000 in January.

However, StatsCan also reported that more people looked for work last month, causing the unemployment rate to tick up 0.2 percentage points to 5.8 percent.

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And while employment gains in six provinces can be perceived as positive news for Canada’s economy, investors were more focused on the lack of traction in trade tariff negotiations between the U.S. and China.

Eight of the TSX’s 11 sectors were lower, including energy and financials.

Decliners among the index’s most heavily traded stocks included plane and train maker Bombardier, off by 4.2 percent, Aurora Cannabis, down 1.7 percent, and natural gas and oil producer Encana Corporation, which fell 4.3 percent.

In New York, the Dow was off by 63 points while the Nasdaq rallied during the day to edge nine points higher, led by a 16 percent jump by Electronic Arts.

EA shares skyrocketed after the video game company announced that in 72 hours, over 10 million players have jumped into its new Apex Legends release.

Dragging markets today was U.S. President Donald Trump saying that he won’t meet with his Chinese counterpart ahead of the March 1st deadline to hash out a trade deal.

Despite worries over a  global economic slowdown, oil managed to inch up seven cents to $52.71 US a barrel.

Gold and the Canadian dollar rose today. The loonie moved up 22/100ths of a cent to $0.7536 US while gold gained $3.70 to $1,315 an ounce.

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