TSX gains as resources rally; banks weigh

Fri Oct 2, 2015 5:09pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Resource stocks fueled a rally on Canada's main stock index on Friday, as the market shrugged off weak U.S. jobs data and losses among banks, one of which raised cash and warned of a writedown.

The gains among miners, oil and gas producers and pipeline operators outpaced rises among some key commodities as the latest U.S. non-farm payrolls data fed investor doubts about whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise rates this year.

"I would not be surprised to see the Toronto market have some kind of bottom ... it certainly feels like it, and see a major move higher," said Barry Schwartz, portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.

"But we need the banks to cooperate and the banks aren't cooperating today. That was a big shock to me, what National did, raising capital here."

National Bank of Canada (NA.TO: Quote), the smallest of Canada's six main banks, fell 5.3 percent to C$40.89 after the lender warned of an asset writedown and restructuring costs and sought to raise C$300 million.

The financials group, by far the biggest sector weight on the index, pulled back 1.6 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) fell 2.2 percent to C$71.97, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) lost 2 percent to C$57.22.

But the banks' retreat was eclipsed by a 2.2 percent gain for energy stocks, and 5.6 percent appreciation in the materials sector, which includes miners and chemical producers.

Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO: Quote) surged 11.8 percent to C$36.60 and Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote) jumped 6.3 percent to C$17.11, while crude rose between 1 and 2 percent and gold gained more than 2.1 percent.   Continued...

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch