North American markets drifted lower after Japanese markets plunged, disappointing Chinese manufacturing data and plans from the U.S. Fed to end its extraordinary stimulus program sometime in the future.
The S&P/TSX composite index fell 118.05 points to 12,634.45. The Canadian dollar was down 0.36 of a cent to 96.77 cents US.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials index dropped 36.57 points to 15,270.60, the S&P 500 was down 14.84 points to 1,640.51, while the Nasdaq dipped 35.15 points to 3,428.15.
Japan's main index fell 7.3 per cent â€” its largest slide since the country was hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunami more than two years ago. The drop was also partly blamed on a spike in Japanese government bond yields.
HSBC reported that its preliminary purchasing managers index for China fell to a seven-month low of 49.6 in May from April's 50.4. Below 50 indicates that activity is contracting. Analysts had expected a more modest decline to 50.3.
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