CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat as TD, US consumer woes limit jobs lift
* TSX up 6.74 points at 12,158.87 * Enbridge up 2.2 pct after proposing pipeline expansion By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged higher on Friday as economically sensitive resource shares rose on data that showed strong jobs growth in the United States and Canada but the advance was limited by another day of losses for Toronto-Dominion Bank and by a bearish U.S. consumer report. TD Bank fell for a second straight day after issuing quarterly results on Thursday that disappointed the market, while a bruising survey on the outlook of U.S. consumers heading into the Christmas season also weighed. By midday, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 6.74 points at 12,158.87 after bobbing on both sides of the break-even line. In Canada, data showed a higher-than-expected 59,300 jobs were added in November, with the bulk of hiring coming in full-time positions and in the private sector. In the United States, Canada's main trading partner, a bumper 146,000 jobs were created last month, though a drop in the unemployment rate suggested some people gave up the search for work and data for earlier months was revised lower. "The picture does look somewhat supportive and constructive but at the same time when you dig in there it's not as rosy as it appears," said Sid Mokhtari, a market technician at CIBC World Markets. TD fell 1.4 percent to C$79.99, after dropping 1.8 percent on Thursday. Bank of Nova Scotia reported quarterly results on Friday, the last of Canada's big banks to do so. It posted a 31 percent profit increase but its shares were down 3 Canadian cents at C$55.53. "The results have been good," Mokhtari said of the banks. "Generally speaking a rule of thumb is that you anticipate the results and position for them and when the news comes people tend to take profit." The jobs data pointed to a slow but steady recovery and offered hope for a stronger end to the year and start to 2013. "It's not lights out but it is supportive of stronger market performance over time," said Craig Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri. "That being said, it would be naive to assume that the fiscal cliff drama isn't going to continue to be the primary, very short-term, market driver." Global markets have in recent weeks been buffeted by concern over setbacks in negotiations to fix the U.S. "fiscal cliff" budget crisis, which, if not resolved, could push the country back into recession. Companies most attuned to economic signals, including miners and energy companies, saw the biggest gains on Friday. Barrick Gold Corp was up 1 percent at C$33.44, and Goldcorp Inc rose 0.9 percent to C$36.79 as bullion prices rebounded. Pipeline operator Enbridge Inc gained 2.9 percent to C$41.13 after proposing a C$6.2 billion expansion of its oil pipeline system, aimed at moving surging volumes of light crude from Western Canada and the North Dakota Bakken to refineries in the eastern part of the continent and U.S. Midwest. Crescent Point Energy Corp, which produces shale light oil in that region and would benefit from improved access to markets, gained 2.2 percent to C$36.98. Glencore International Plc received approval from China's Ministry of Commerce for its C$6.1 billion acquisition of Canadian grain handler Viterra Inc, clearing the final regulatory hurdle for the long-delayed deal. Investors are watching for progress on two other acquisitions of Canadian resource companies as a deadline approaches for Ottawa to either approve or reject bids from China's CNOOC Ltd for Nexen Inc and Malaysia's Petronas for Progress Energy Resources Corp.
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