CANADA STOCKS-TSX ticks up on strong oil, U.S. jobs

Fri Apr 1, 2011 4:40pm EDT
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   * TSX ends up 14.05 points, or 0.1 percent, at 14,130.15
 * Eight of the 10 index's main groups higher
 (Updates to close, adds details, commentary)
 By Claire Sibonney
 TORONTO, April 1 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
edged higher on Friday, hitting its strongest level in more
than three weeks, as oil prices rose and healthy U.S. jobs data
underscored optimism that the economic recovery is gathering
 U.S. employment grew solidly for a second month in March
and the jobless rate hit a two-year low of 8.8 percent,
emphasizing a decisive shift in the labor market that should
help to underpin the recovery. [ID:nOAT004775]
 The United States is Canada's biggest trading partner and a
healthy economy south of the border is positive for Canadian
 "Despite weak cooper, weak gold, and oil that at one point
was flat, it looks like the market still liked the payrolls
number out of the U.S.," said Francis Campeau, a broker at MF
Global Canada in Montreal. "Unemployment has been the Achilles'
heel of the U.S. turnaround and a stronger than expected number
is always a positive."
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE closed up 14.05 points, or 0.1 percent, at 14,130.15.
Eight of the TSX's 10 main sectors were stronger.
 Earlier, the index hit a high of 14,181.48, its best level
since March 7. The TSX ended up 0.6 percent for the week.
 Economically sensitive financials were up 0.5 percent,
supported by the solid data south of the border, with Royal
Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) a lead gainer, up 1.1 percent at
 The oil and gas sector was up 0.2 percent as oil prices
advanced on the U.S. payrolls report and on signs that the
conflict in Libya would continue to keep Libyan oil off the
market. [O/R]
 Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) advanced 0.3 percent to C$43.61,
while Imperial Oil (IMO.TO: Quote) jumped 2.2 percent to C$50.65.
 Analysts were cautious about the impact of rising oil
prices, however.
 "There does come a point -- we may have already reached it
-- where (a high oil price) does start to bite into that
consumer spending power," said Bruce Latimer, a trader at
Dundee Securities.
 "You have view the rising price of oil as inflationary for
a lot of the businesses -- when you look at mining companies
and such, where oil is 30-40 percent of their operating budget.
It does come a point the rising oil price can be seen as bad
for the economy."
 Fertilizer companies were also big gainers on Friday,
tracking strong corn prices, Campeau noted, with Potash Corp
(POT.TO: Quote) climbing 1.4 percent to C$58.01.
 Tempering the broader gains, gold miners fell 1.5 percent
as the strong U.S. jobs data boosted the greenback and lessened
gold's safe-haven appeal. [GOL/]
 Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) slumped 1.9 percent to C$47.41, while
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) also lost 1.9 percent to C$49.43. The
broader materials group, home to mining companies, was down 1.4
 ($1=$0.97 Canadian)
 (Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Rob Wilson)