CANADA STOCKS-TSX edges up in muted trade after jobs data

Fri Oct 5, 2012 11:01am EDT
 
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* TSX up 27.39 points, or 0.22 pct, at 12,475.07
    * Financials rally, energy and gold shares lag

    By Claire Sibonney
    TORONTO, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose
to a two-week high on Friday as unexpectedly strong North
American jobs data supported demand for riskier assets.
    The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to a near four-year low
of 7.8 percent in September, a potential boon to President
Barack Obama's reelection bid. 
    In Canada, the economy added 52,100 jobs in September, more
than five times the consensus figure analysts had expected, and
bolstering the Bank of Canada's case for an eventual interest
rate rise. 
     Still, the advance in stocks was modest, and trading
choppy, with strength in financials offset by weakness in
commodity shares as investors hesitated to place big bets ahead
of an extended weekend in Canada and the United States. 
    On Monday, Canadian markets will close for Thanksgiving,
while U.S. government offices and some financial markets will
close for Columbus Day.
    "The market has acted well and the only reason that it might
be muted a little bit is because of the long weekend here and in
the U.S. and people not wanting to carry positions for three
days," said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell
Securities.
    Among the top gainers, Manulife Financial rose 2.1
percent to C$12.44, Royal Bank of Canada was up 0.6
percent to C$57.87 and Toronto-Dominion Bank  added 0.5
percent to C$82.34.
    Kinsey said Canadian banks are seen by many investors as a
safe-haven on the index dominated by both financials and
resources.
    "Last quarter, all the five major banks increased their
dividends, so that's obviously a good sign," said Kinsey. "They
wouldn't do that if they didn't think that going forward wasn't
going to be reasonable, and yields are pretty good."
    At 10:37 a.m. (1437 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was up 27.39 points, or 0.22
percent, at 12,475.07.
    Energy and gold mining shares were the main laggards as oil
and gold prices fell.  
    Canadian Natural Resources was down 0.6 percent to
C$30.51, Yamana Gold slipped 1.4 percent to C$18.94 and
Kinross Gold lost 1.8 percent to C$10.69.