5 Min Read
* TSX ends up 46.32 points at 12,925.11
* Highest close since Sept. 3, 2008
* U.S. jobs jump, Canadian data shows strength (Adds quote, company details)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index ended at its highest closing level in more than two years on Friday after jobs data from the United States, Canada's biggest trading partner, surpassed market expectations.
Six of the index's 10 main sectors were higher, led by the financials and the materials groups, which were up 0.8 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.
Manulife Financial MFC.TO, the most heavily traded stock on the market, climbed 4.8 percent to C$14.79. It extended gains to a third session, as several analysts boosted price targets on the country's biggest insurer a day after it reported a smaller than expected loss. [ID:nN04213369] [RCH/CA]
Big gainers in the materials group included Teck Resources TCKb.TO up 4 percent at C$49.71, and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO), which rose 3.3 percent to C$95.36.
The U.S. economy added many more jobs than expected last month, and this helped boost commodities, building on the momentum from the U.S. Federal Reserve's pledge on Wednesday to launch a $600 billion program to buy government bonds to stimulate the ailing U.S. economy. [ID:nN04265378]
"We're starting to see some not insignificant job growth south of the border so that was the big news of the day, and obviously the market was watching that like a hawk," said Paul Taylor, chief investment officer at BMO Harris Investment Management Inc.
Recent U.S. economic data, including Friday's 151,000-job gain for October, has been healthier than expected and this has raised the possibility that the Fed may not have to do as much as thought to shore up the economy.
Investors looked past a poor headline figure on Canada's own employment figures, which showed a rise of just 3,000 jobs in October [ID:nN05281844], and pushed the Canadian dollar to parity with the U.S. currency. The underlying details of the Canadian report were seen as being favorable for a sustainable economic recovery. [CAD/]
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE soared above 13,000 during the day, but trimmed gains to finish the session up 46.32 points, or 0.36 percent, at 12,925.11. It was the index's highest closing level since Sept. 3, 2008.
It was up 2 percent for the week.
The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index .TSE60 closed 2.61 points higher, or 0.35 percent, at 740.34.
Shares of Magna International (MG.TO), the top net gainer, jumped 6.1 percent to C$99.33 a day after the auto parts maker made a bevy of investor-friendly announcements and released quarterly results that blew past analysts' expectations. [ID:nN05205890]
Telus Corp (T.TO) rose 3 percent to C$45.73. Strong wireless growth and record television subscriber additions helped it post adjusted quarterly earnings on Friday that handily beat analysts' expectations. [ID:nN05280098]
On the downside, shares in Research In Motion RIM.TO sank 2.6 percent to C$55.65 as investors fretted the BlackBerry smartphone's stranglehold on corporate communications was being eroded by rival devices. [ID:nN05208982]
Sid Mokhtari, market technician and director, institutional equity research, CIBC World Markets, said the relative-strength index, an indicator that measures the overbought and oversold conditions for an asset class, showed that the TSX index was "overbought".
He noted the index could drop in coming sessions to its 50-day moving average at around 12,360.
"We view it constructively. This would be a healthy check back. We can't go straight up. We need to pause here and there."
($1=$1.00 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)