TSX posts biggest jump in 7 weeks; Canada, U.S. jobs data eyed

Thu Feb 6, 2014 4:57pm EST
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index recorded its biggest one-day jump in seven weeks on Thursday as higher oil prices helped lift energy shares and upbeat U.S. economic data sounded a positive note ahead of Friday's nonfarm payrolls report.

Strong earnings performances from BCE Inc (BCE.TO: Quote) and Canaccord Genuity (CF.TO: Quote) provided further support and boosted shares of the two companies.

The market appeared to show signs of stabilizing after several days of choppy trading due to concerns about emerging markets and worries about global growth.

A report showed that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, following a wave of mixed economic data that had increased investor doubts about the U.S. economic recovery.

"We're seeing a little more optimism today than we've seen in the last couple of weeks," said Youssef Zohny, a portfolio manager at Stenner Investment Partners, a multifamily office within Richardson GMP.

"The markets are taking a wait-and-see approach ahead of the jobs number tomorrow," he added. "The headline will be less important than the reaction."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 153.71 points, or 1.13 percent, at 13,713.40. The benchmark Canadian index also moved back to positive territory for the year.

"The TSX is holding up pretty well and some of the commodity sectors are leading to some outperformance," Zohny said.   Continued...

People attend a market open ceremony for the Toronto Stock Exchange at the TSX Broadcast Centre in Toronto June 20, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch