CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as jobs help offset mining retreat

Fri Mar 7, 2014 9:49pm GMT

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By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, March 7 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose
on Friday following better-than-expected U.S. jobs data, with
gains in energy stocks offsetting a decline in mining.
    U.S. jobs growth picked up sharply in February despite an
unusually cold winter, with 175,000 new jobs created, compared
with a loss of 7,000 in Canada. Sentiment in Canada is often
influenced by news out of the United States, the country's
largest trading partner.  
    "The U.S. jobs number was the big positive driver for the
markets today. I think there was enough there to even offset the
job losses in Canada. So yeah, it's been a good day that way,"
said Brian Pow, vice president, research and equity analyst at
Acumen Capital Partners in Calgary.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed 27.16 points, or 0.2 percent higher, to end the
session at 14,299.08. Nine of the 10 main groups were in
positive territory.
    The index, which rose in four of the last five sessions,
gained close to 0.7 percent on the week. It has gained 6 percent
since it last troughed at the beginning of February.
    Energy stocks were helped by stronger crude prices, which
rose to $108 a barrel on supply concerns from the crisis in
Ukraine and the U.S. jobs number. 
    Canadian Natural Resources was up 1.9 percent at
C$41.59, while Suncor Energy Inc rose 1.1 percent to
C$36.91. The overall group climbed nearly 1 percent.
    The heavily weighted financial group was up a modest 0.1
percent.
    "Our index has the barbell between financials and resources
that makes our markets somewhat less volatile, in terms of
what's going on," said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC
Capital Markets.
    The materials group, comprised of mining stocks, capped some
of the positive gains, with a 1.7 percent retreat, as gold and
copper prices fell.
    Goldcorp Inc was off 1.7 percent at C$29.97, while
Barrick Gold Corp was down 1.1 percent at C$22.08.    
Gold prices fell 1 percent as U.S. jobs data helped soothe fears
of an abrupt slowdown in the world's biggest economy. 
     Base-metals miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd led
the decliners with a 5.4 percent drop to C$20.10 as copper hit a
seven-month low on China growth worries. Teck Resources Ltd
 also slumped 3.4 percent to C$24.40. 
    In company news, Constellation Software Inc was
also one of the biggest drivers on the positive side, jumping
12.2 percent to C$265.48. The company reported
better-than-expected results after markets on Thursday and at
least two analysts raise its price target on the company.
    The overall technology group gained 1.7 percent.
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