TORONTO — Sluggish manufacturing data from China weighed heavily on commodities and sent stock markets in Toronto and New York into broad-based declines.The S&P/TSX composite index in Toronto retreated 157.95 points at 13,707.68 as concerns over global growth dragged down the commodity-sensitive Canadian dollar.After some fairly strong recent gains that saw the loonie briefly touch 80 cents US late last week, the currency plunged 1.11 cents to 78.66 cents US.In commodities, the June contract for benchmark North American crude was down $1.13 at US$43.65 a barrel, while June gold bullion shed $4 to US$1291.80 a troy ounce.July copper was off five cents at US$2.22 a pound.June natural gas rebounded, climbing four cents to US$2.09 per mmBtu after having declined 14 cents on Monday.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average more than erased Monday’s 117-point gain, falling 140.25 points to 17,750.91.The broader S&P 500 lost 18.06 points to 2,063.37 and the Nasdaq fell 54.37 points to 4,763.22.Overnight, the Caixin magazine’s purchasing managers’ index reported that China’s manufacturing sector declined to a reading of 49.4 points from March’s reading of 49.7.A number below 50 indicates that manufacturing is contracting and spurred fears that growth in the world’s second-largest economy is slowing.
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