CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as U.S. jobs data backs up Fed stimulus
* TSX up 96.60 points, or 0.69 percent, at 13,277.13 * Gold miners and banks lead charge as two-year peak keeps growing By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index opened higher on Tuesday after U.S. jobs data for September came in weaker than expected, bolstering expectations that the Federal Reserve will stick to its current monetary stimulus for longer. The push higher in a sixth straight session extended a two-year peak for the index, which has failed to keep up with the record highs hit in U.S. markets this year. U.S. employers added 148,000 positions last month, the Labor Department said, which was below with expectations of 180,000. While the job count for August was revised higher and the unemployment rate ticked down to 7.2 percent from 7.3 percent, employment gains in July were the weakest since June 2012. The prospect of looser-for-longer policy down south has bolstered Canadian investors more than the lower jobs number hinders the domestic economy, and the gains in morning trade were notched across the board. "There is a fair amount of stability in the Canadian market and people seem to be quite comfortable," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod. "Our market is still considerably behind the gains they've had in the U.S. market year to date, so maybe we've still got room to outperform the U.S. market for November and December." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 96.60 points, or 0.69 percent, at 13,277.13 by mid-morning. Two of the world's biggest gold producers led the push higher, with Goldcorp Inc adding 4.1 percent to C$20.38 and Barrick Gold Corp gaining 4.4 percent to hit a one-month high of C$20.38. Banks also featured heavily in the list of most positive movers, with Bank of Nova Scotia up 1 percent at C$62.64, Toronto-Dominion Bank adding 0.7 percent to C$93.50 and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce rising 1.3 percent to C$86.47. ScotiaMcLeod's Ketchen said investors cautiously getting back into the market in a low-interest-rate environment will keep buying into stable stocks offering modest growth and above average returns, such as banks, pipelines, utilities and telecoms.
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