CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs to near six-year high on U.S. jobs report

Fri May 2, 2014 11:04am EDT
 
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* TSX rises 63.30 points, or 0.43 percent, to 14,727.37
    * All of 10 the main index sectors advance
    * Index on track for a weekly gain
    * First Quantum slips after reporting results

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, May 2 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index climbed
to its highest in almost six years on Friday after a bullish
U.S. jobs report helped ease concerns about the recovery of the
world's biggest economy.
    A flurry of acquisition deals and earnings reports also
provided support. Shares of engineering and construction company
 SNC-Lavalin Group Inc jumped 7.2 percent to C$53.20 
after SNC said it will sell its AltaLink transmission system to
Berkshire Hathaway Inc's energy unit for about $2.9
billion. 
    U.S. job growth increased at its fastest rate in more than
two years in April, topping market expectations and suggesting
that the economy was bouncing back after weather-related
weakness in the first quarter. 
    "Most of the focus has been on the U.S. jobs data, which has
supported the view that growth is going to rebound in the second
quarter after the slowdown in the first quarter," said Fergal
Smith, managing market strategist at Action Economics.
    "And the leisurely pace of Fed tapering is a supportive
backdrop for stocks and commodity markets, and the TSX," he
added, referring to the U.S. Federal Reserve's gradual pullback
from its monetary stimulus program. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 63.30 points, or 0.43 percent, at 14,727.37. 
    The Canadian benchmark is set to record its third straight
weekly gain. It is up about 8.2 percent this year.
    All of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on
Friday.
    Shares of energy producers benefited from higher oil prices.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd added nearly 1 percent
to C$45.18, and Suncor Energy Inc advanced 0.8 percent
to C$42.85. 
    TransCanada Corp reported a 14 percent rise in
adjusted quarterly profit as a severe winter boosted demand for
its pipelines. The stock was little changed. 
    First Quantum Minerals Ltd dropped 1.5 percent to
C$21.24 after the miner reported lower first-quarter earnings
late on Thursday. 
    Westport Innovations Inc shot up 21 percent to
C$17.19 after the company reported quarterly results. The stock
was the biggest percentage gainer on the index. 
    News Corp said it would buy romance novel publisher
Harlequin Enterprises Ltd from newspaper publisher Torstar Corp
 to boost its non-English book publishing. Torstar's
shares jumped 13 percent to C$7.55. 
    ($1=$1.10 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway)