CANADA STOCKS-Mixed U.S., Canadian jobs data keeps TSX steady

Fri Feb 7, 2014 11:25am EST
 
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* TSX 7.34 points, or 0.05 percent, lower at 13,706.06
    * Five of the 10 main index sectors decline
    * Baytex Energy drops after acquisition move
    * Dorel tumbles after profit warning

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Friday as investors digested stronger Canadian
jobs data and a U.S. labor report that showed nonfarm payrolls
missed expectations in January. 
    Weighing on the index, shares of Baytex Energy Corp 
tumbled a day after the oil producer agreed to buy Australia's
Aurora Oil & Gas Ltd for C$2.6 billion ($2.4 billion)
including debt. 
    The Canadian economy recorded its biggest employment gain
since August in January, topping market estimates, and the
unemployment rate fell, according to government figures.
 
    The U.S. jobs report painted a mixed picture as employers
hired fewer workers than expected in January, but the
unemployment rate hit a new five-year low. 
    "The data suggests that this ongoing improvement in the
labor markets is measurable but glacial at best," said Stephen
Wood, chief market strategist, North America, at Russell
Investments. "While the improvement is glacial, it is an
improvement.
    "There's not a radical change in the labor market and
there's not a radical change in the inflationary environment
that would force the (U.S. Federal Reserve) to do anything
abruptly," he added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 7.34 points, or 0.05 percent, at 13,706.06.
Five of the 10 main sectors on the resource-heavy index were in
the red.
    Wood said that while commodities belong in properly
allocated portfolios, investors should be cognizant of risks
involving China's economy, a massive market for natural
resources.
    "There's going to be some challenge in the commodity space
as China resets its policy path," he said. 
    Energy shares felt the impact of Baytex's decline on Friday.
The stock shed nearly 6 percent to C$39.17, and elsewhere in the
group Encana Corp dropped 3 percent to C$20.33.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, were
down 0.2 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada slipping 0.4
percent to C$69.69. 
    Gold-mining shares jumped 1.7 percent, lifted by a gain in
the bullion price. Barrick Gold Corp rose 1.6 percent
to C$20.79, and Goldcorp Inc climbed 1.9 percent to C$28.
    In corporate news, leisure-products company Dorel Industries
Inc said on Thursday that it will report a drop in
fourth-quarter earnings. The stock slid 8 percent to C$36.47 and
showed the biggest percentage decline on the index.