TSX snaps losing skid on U.S. jobs data

Thu May 10, 2012 5:15pm EDT
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By Jon Cook

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian stocks rose for the first time in more than a week on Thursday as encouraging U.S. jobs data and slightly more positive conditions in Europe coaxed investors to snap up shares at beaten-down prices.

The United States reported claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, an upbeat sign after April's weak employment growth sparked fears of a worsening U.S. labor market.

"It's a fairly limited move," said Levente Mady, market strategist at Union Securities, in Vancouver. "Nothing is running away either way."

Mady said he did not expect the modest gains to be a precursor of a larger rally, even though stocks were "oversold" during the recent six-session losing skid on the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index's .GSPTSE.

"Don't hold your breath for the next rally," Mady said.

Nearly all of the TSX's 10 main sectors were higher on Thursday. The downtrodden energy group led gains, rising 0.75 percent as U.S. crude halted its own six-day losing streak that had reduced the front-month June crude's value by 8.8 percent. <O/R>

The sector's most influential gainers included Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), up 0.8 percent at C$29.30, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote), up 1.5 percent to C$31.15, and Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote), which gained 2.1 percent to C$40.60.

Shares of Crescent Point Energy Corp (CPG.TO: Quote) climbed 3.6 percent to C$42.38 after Canada's No. 5 independent oil producer reported a smaller quarterly loss on Thursday compared with a year ago.   Continued...

A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch