CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises sharply as jobs data spurs optimism
* TSX rises 95.98 points, or 0.88 pct, to 11,017.47
* Jobs data boosts hopes for economic recovery
* Market could be tested next week when investors return (Adds comments and details)
By Wojtek Dabrowski
TORONTO, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index finished firmly higher on Friday, boosted by better-than-expected Canadian and U.S. jobs data, which stoked hopes for economic recovery.
The rise was broad, with nine of the benchmark index's 10 main groups making gains. The lone decliner was the resource-based materials group, which edged down 0.53 percent.
Heavyweight gainers included Telus Corp (T.TO: Quote), Canada's No. 2 phone company, which rose 2.81 percent to C$34.43, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), up 2.9 percent to C$34.00.
Canada's big banks also rose, with Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) adding 1.9 percent to C$67.20, and Bank of Montreal BMO.TO gaining 1.45 percent to C$51.95.
"The move higher is definitely being driven by the jobs numbers," said Elvis Picardo, vice-president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.
The Canadian economy created 27,100 jobs last month, Statistics Canada said on Friday, compared with a median forecast of 10,000 job losses in a Reuters survey of economists. [ID:nN04153956] In the United States, employers cut fewer-than-expected jobs in August. [ID:nN03530870]
Investor sentiment is influenced by incrementally positive economic data like the jobs numbers, Picardo said, adding this could "put some sort of a floor to stocks".
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 95.98 points, or 0.88 percent, to close at 11,017.47. The heavyweight energy and financials sectors gained 1.53 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.
The S&P/TSX 60 index of Canadian blue chip stocks rose 5.84 points, or 0.89 percent, to end at 661.73.
Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier, said the market could be challenged later this month, when more investors return from summer holidays and trading volumes pick up.
"I think the real test will be next week, when everyone's heads are going to be away from the beaches and more into the books, back to the grind," Nakamoto said.
In addition, Picardo noted that the 11,000 level has been something of a resistance point for the market of late, and that it could again stall further gains, at least temporarily.
"The TSX has found it a little difficult to climb beyond that in recent weeks," he said.
In the United States, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI added 96.66 points, or 1.03 percent, to end at 9,441.27. The tech-heavy Nasdaq .IXIC rose 35.58 points to close at 2,018.78.
($1=$1.09 Canadian) (Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by Peter Galloway)
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