Canada's main stock market in Toronto continued to fall Friday and wrapped up the week with a 20-month low after the release of fresh economic data indicating a slowdown in China's economy.
Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard & Poor's /TSX Composite Index lowered 263.33 points, or 1.92 percent, to 13,473.67 points, the lowest level not seen since the beginning of 2014.
Global equity markets plummeted toward their worst week of this year while the beating in commodities continued as data out of China showed manufacturing in the country was slowing at the fastest pace since the financial crisis in 2009.
Energy producers, the worst-performing industry in the Canadian benchmark this year, plunged 7.7 percent this week, trading at a 2009 low. Crude prices were set for an eighth straight week of losses, the longest slump since 1986.
South of the border, the New York Dow Jones industrial average was down a whopping 530.94 points to 16,459.75, while the Nasdaq plummeted 171.45 points to 4,706.04 and the S&P 500 declined 64.84 points to 1,970.89.
On commodity markets, the December gold contract rose 6.40 U.S. dollars to 1,159.60 U.S. dollars an ounce, while the October crude contract was down 87 U.S. cents at 40.45 U.S. dollars a barrel and September natural gas lost eight U.S. cents to 2.68 U.S. dollars per thousand cubic feet.
On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported Friday morning that the consumer price index rose 1.3 percent in July from a year ago, compared with a rise of 1.0 percent in June.
The agency said lower energy prices continued to moderate the year-over-year rise in the CPI ; however, the effect was less pronounced in July than in the previous month. In particular, the gasoline index was down 12.2 percent in July from a year ago, compared with a 14.1 percent decrease in June.
Elsewhere, retail sales increased 0.6 percent in June.
In corporate news, Eldorado Gold Corp shares plunged 12.3 percent after the company said Thursday it suspended mining activities in northern Greece.
Analysts expected to see an intermediate rally in the fall, but they said there was a serious risk of a bear market next year.
Of TSX's eight major sectors, telecom was the only gainer Friday, up 0.79 percent. All of the rest groups ended lower by more than 1 percent, with health care going down 3.33 percent, metals & mining down 3.14 percent, industrials down 2.40 percent and energy down 1.45 percent.
The Canadian dollar went down Friday to 0.7593 U.S. dollar, compared with 0.7639 U.S. dollar Thursday.