CANADA STOCKS-TSX rebounds on jobs data, bank shares

Fri Dec 6, 2013 5:07pm EST
 
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* TSX up 0.6 percent, or 80.32 points, at 13,280.72
    * Banks stocks lead index higher
    * Canada adds 21,600 jobs in November

    By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
rebounded from a six-week low on Friday as
stronger-than-expected jobs reports at home and in the United
States bolstered expectations that the economic recovery has
momentum.
    "Both the U.S. and the Canadian employment data -- people
get worried because they figure that's the end of the
quantitative easing and tapering will kick in. But when it comes
down to it, cooler heads prevailed," said Irwin Michael,
portfolio manager at ABC Funds, pointing to the benefit of a
stronger economy.
    Bank stocks, which had weakened on Thursday following mixed
quarterly results from three big lenders, led the push higher.
Royal Bank of Canada, up 1.3 percent at C$69.05, was the
most influential stock in leading the index up.
    Bank of Nova Scotia gained after it reported a 12
percent rise in quarterly profit on Friday, helped by strength
in its Canadian retail business. Its earnings per share,
however, were slightly below the average analyst estimate.
    Shares of Scotiabank rose just over 1 percent to C$63.98.
Toronto Dominion Bank, Bank of Montreal and
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce all saw advances of
more than 1 percent. Overall, the banking sector
 was up 1.1 percent.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 0.6 percent, or 80.32 points, at 13,280.72.
    Six of the index's 10 main groups finished higher, but the
index on the whole was down nearly 0.9 percent for the week.
    "Most people are shutting down, they've taken all the losses
and gains for the year. So the least path of resistance is up,"
said Michael.
     The day's economic data helped give the market a positive
tone. Canada added 21,600 jobs last month, far more than the
12,000 economists had forecast, while the unemployment rate held
at 6.9 percent. The United States created 203,000 jobs in
November, also more than expected. 
 
    "Just as a general rule, I think we are on a trajectory
that's more positive than negative, and I think that's what
you're seeing globally," said Paul Harris, portfolio manager at
Avenue Investment Management in Toronto.
    The U.S. jobs report increased expectations that the Federal
Reserve will soon start to reduce economic stimulus. Although
markets have been reacting negatively to that prospect,
investors on Friday were more encouraged by the stronger
economic picture.
    "Tapering will create a short-term volatility and may cause
the stock market to go down, but I think in the long run that's
good, because you will get a pullback and people should be
buyers of the stock market then," Harris said.
    Gold miners and energy companies retreated after earlier
gains. Gold miners were off 0.1 percent after rising 1
percent earlier, while the energy sector eased 0.4
percent. Suncor Energy Inc was the most influential
stock on the downside, shedding 1.5 percent at C$35.73.
    Miner Centerra Gold dropped 8.6 percent to C$3.42
after news that Kyrgyzstan is suing the company for $304 million
over what the government says is ecological damage.