TSX rebounds on jobs data, bank shares

Fri Dec 6, 2013 5:08pm EST
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rebounded from a six-week low on Friday as stronger-than-expected jobs reports at home and in the United States bolstered expectations that the economic recovery has momentum.

"Both the U.S. and the Canadian employment data -- people get worried because they figure that's the end of the quantitative easing and tapering will kick in. But when it comes down to it, cooler heads prevailed," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds, pointing to the benefit of a stronger economy.

Bank stocks, which had weakened on Thursday following mixed quarterly results from three big lenders, led the push higher. Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO, up 1.3 percent at C$69.05, was the most influential stock in leading the index up.

Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO 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 just over 1 percent to C$63.98. Toronto Dominion Bank TD.TO, Bank of Montreal BMO.TO and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CM.TO all saw advances of more than 1 percent. Overall, the banking sector .SPTTFS was up 1.1 percent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 0.6 percent, or 80.32 points, at 13,280.72.

Six of the index's 10 main groups finished higher, but the index on the whole was down nearly 0.9 percent for the week.

"Most people are shutting down, they've taken all the losses and gains for the year. So the least path of resistance is up," said Michael.   Continued...

A man walks past an electronic board displaying the midday TSX index in Toronto February 16, 2011. REUTERS/Mark Blinch