June 5, 2009 / 9:02 PM / 8 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX shrugs off weak jobs data, ends higher

* TSX rises 92 points to 10,569.29

* Ends week with gain of 1.9 percent

* Energy and bank shares lead rally (Adds details and comments)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, June 5 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index shrugged off weak Canadian jobs data and closed higher on Friday, posting its third straight week of gains, as energy and financial issues rose.

Shares of energy companies did much of the lifting as oil prices rallied to a seven-month high above $70 a barrel before retreating slightly.

That helped boost shares of Suncor Energy (SU.TO) by 2.6 percent to C$38.47, while Petro-Canada PCA.TO shares ended 2.7 percent higher at C$48.43. The TSX index’s energy sector ended the session up 1.4 percent.

The higher close came after a report that showed that unemployment in Canada reached an 11-year high in May, while the economy shed more jobs than expected. [ID:N05253705] Earlier in the week, another report showed the economy contracted for a second straight quarter in the first quarter.

“Eventually those have got to turn positive, meaning you will create jobs ... and there will positive economic growth, which looks likely in the third quarter,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.

“Investors right now are looking at the glass as half full rather than half empty. More than that, half full and rising.”

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 92.05 points, or 0.88 percent at 10,569.29. Earlier, it had rallied 104 points and fallen 63 points.

For the week the TSX rose 1.9 percent.

Canadian bank shares added to gains recorded during the previous session when RBC Capital Markets upgraded the U.S. banking sector, saying the battered industry is in the early stages of a multiyear bull market. [ID:nBNG426422]

The TSX’s financial index, which includes Canadian banks and insurers and accounts for about 33 percent of the TSX index, ended the session up 1 percent.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), the biggest driver behind the TSX’s overall gain, ended up 1.5 percent at C$45.50, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) rose 1 percent at C$58.12.

The TSX is now up 41 percent since falling to a five-year low in early March. The overall trend is likely to continue higher, some experts say, although a portion of the gains could be returned.

“We might pause here and slightly go down just for the fact of a lack of activity, but most pundits out there, including myself, are saying we’ve gone through the worst and better times are ahead,” said Nakamato. “But there is still the other side that says stocks have moved big time and you better not jump in here.”

$1=$1.12 Canadian Reporting by Frank Pingue; editing by Peter Galloway

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