CANADA STOCKS-TSX advances after jobs data; gold miners gain
* TSX rises 42.69 points, or 0.30 percent, to 14,444.90 * Eight of the 10 main index sectors advance * Air Canada jumps after earnings forecast By John Tilak TORONTO, April 4 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index climbed on Friday after data indicating a steady pace of hiring in Canada and the United States lifted market sentiment and drove gains in most major sectors. The Canadian economy created twice as many jobs as expected in March and the unemployment rate dropped for the first time this year, a government report showed. South of the border, U.S. employers maintained a solid pace of hiring for a second straight month in March, adding 192,000 jobs, after a long winter had clouded recent reports. But the U.S. numbers missed market expectations, raising doubts among some investors about the health of the economy. Those doubts boosted bullion, which is seen a safe-haven bet in tough economic times, and sent gold-mining shares higher. "The recovery worldwide and in the United States remains muted at best, notwithstanding the fact that trillions (of dollars) have been printed for so little effect," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada. "The volatile market seems to be a classic hedge (for bullion)," he added. "Geopolitical tensions remain, so the environment that could push gold up is still very much in place." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 42.69 points, or 0.30 percent, at 14,444.90. It has gained in five of the last six sessions and is up about 6 percent in 2014. "Resources will help out the TSX (this year), but I expect a much higher interest rate environment in the fall, which will be negative for the markets," Ing said. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on Friday. Gold-mining shares jumped 1.7 percent. Barrick Gold Corp advanced 2 percent to C$20.64, and Goldcorp Inc rose 1.6 percent to C$27.56. Oil prices also climbed, helping drive up the energy sector. Suncor Energy Inc was up 0.9 percent at C$39.58, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd gained 0.7 percent to C$43.87. In corporate news, Air Canada forecast higher first-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment, and aircraft rent (EBITDAR) due to system-wide traffic growth and increased capacity. The stock shot up 23.1 percent to C$7.09. ($1=$1.10 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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