4 Min Read
* TSX rises 0.82 percent at 12,984.80
* Hits highest since Sept. 8, 2008
* Hiring in U.S. jobs jumps, Canadian data shows strength
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose to a two-year high on Friday after jobs data from the United States, Canada's biggest trading partner, came in much more robust than expected.
Nine of the index's 10 sectors were higher, with leading gainers in the financials and the energy groups, which were up 0.82 percent and 0.65 percent, respectively.
Suncor Energy (SU.TO) rose 1.9 percent to C$36.16, while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) gained almost 1 percent to C$39.70.
Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) 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. It gained 3.9 percent to C$14.66. [ID:nN04213369] [RCH/CA]
At 10:35 a.m. (1435 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 106.01 points, or 0.82 percent, at 12,984.80, trading at levels not seen since Sept. 8, 2008.
The U.S. economy added many more jobs than expected last month, and this helped boost commodities in a week in which the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would launch a $600 billion program to buy government bonds to stimulate the ailing economy.
Recent U.S. economic data, including Friday's 151,000-job gain in 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 .
"Sometimes just the announcement of making a stimulus is enough to stimulate the economy. Sometimes you just have to say you're thinking of doing something to get people to get off the sidelines and that may be the case," said Barry Schwartz, a portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.
"If things really improve over the next couple of months, they could just scale back."
But he said that stocks are ripe for a correction after a near-uninterrupted rise over the past four months.
"We've gone straight up since the summer with really no pullback. Stocks have done way better than I thought. I think we're pulling forward some of the good news in 2011 into this year," Schwartz said, pointing to earnings that have been "fabulous".
Shares of Magna International (MG.TO) jumped 6.5 percent to C$99.68 a day after the auto parts maker made a bevy of investor-friendly announcements and released quarterly results that blew past analysts' expectations. [ID:nN04228491][ID:nN05117832]
Telus Corp (T.TO) posted a 12 percent fall in third-quarter profit on Friday, but beat expectations, boosted by strong wireless growth and record television subscriber additions. Telus rose 2.25 percent to C$45.41. [ID:nN05280098]
Investors looked past a poor headline figure on Canada's own jobs figures, which showed a rise of just 3,000 jobs in October. But the underlying details of the report were seen a being more favorable for a sustainable economic recovery. [ID:nN05281844]
($1=$1.00 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)