CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises on strong jobs data, bank shares gain

Fri Dec 6, 2013 4:16pm GMT

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* TSX up 0.6 percent, or 83.71 points, at 13,284.11
    * Banks stocks lead index higher
    * Canada adds 21,600 jobs in November

    By Leah Schnurr
    TORONTO, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on
Friday, recovering from a six-week low as stronger-than-expected
jobs reports on both sides of the U.S. border bolstered
expectations that the economic recovery has momentum.
    Bank stocks, which had weakened on Thursday following mixed
quarterly results from three big lenders, led the push higher.
Royal Bank of Canada, up 1.6 percent at $69.29, played
the biggest role of any stock in leading the index up.
    Bank of Nova Scotia also gained after it reported a
12 percent rise in quarterly profit on Friday, helped by
strength in its Canadian retail business. Its earnings per
share, however, were slightly below the average analyst
estimate.
    Shares of Scotiabank rose 0.7 percent to $63.78, lagging
gains of more than 1 percent made by Royal, Bank of Montreal
 and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. 
 Overall, the banking sector was up 1.1
percent. 
    The day's economic data helped give the market a positive
tone. Canada added 21,600 jobs last month, far more than the
12,000 economists had forecast, while the unemployment rate held
at 6.9 percent. The United States created 203,000 jobs in
November, also more than expected. 
 
    "Just as a general rule, I think we are on a trajectory
that's more positive than negative, and I think that's what
you're seeing globally," said Paul Harris, portfolio manager at
Avenue Investment Management in Toronto.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 0.6 percent, or 83.71 points, at 13,284.11.
    The U.S. jobs report increased expectations that the Federal
Reserve will soon start to reduce, or taper, economic stimulus.
Although markets have been reacting negatively to that prospect,
investors on Friday were more encouraged by the stronger
economic picture.
    "Tapering will create a short-term volatility and may cause
the stock market to go down, but I think in the long run that's
good, because you will get a pullback and people should be
buyers of the stock market then," Harris said.
    Shares of gold miners and energy companies were higher,
alongside resource prices. Gold miners rose 1 percent
as gold futures climbed to $1,234.60 an ounce, while the energy
sector edged up 0.2 percent along with a rise in Brent
crude, which was up 44 cents at $111.42 a barrel. 
    On the downside, miner Centerra Gold dropped 2.1
percent to $3.66 after news Kyrgyzstan is suing the company for
$304 million over what the government says is ecological damage.
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