CANADA STOCKS-TSX slightly higher as jobs data helps, oil hurts

Fri Jan 8, 2016 10:58am EST
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(Adds portfolio manager comment, details; updates prices)

* Seven of the TSX's 10 main groups rise

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index advanced tentatively in early trade on Thursday after seven days of losses as financial and industrial stocks rose, although weak oil prices kept the pressure on energy stocks.

In a boost for sentiment, the country added more jobs than anticipated in December, including modest gains in the struggling manufacturing and natural resources sectors.

U.S. jobs data also produced a positive surprise.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index technically entered a bear market on Wednesday, down more than 20 percent from the record high it hit in September 2014.

At 10:40 a.m. EST (1540 GMT), it was up 14.18 points, or 0.11 percent, at 12,462.39, just outside of bear territory of 12,419.80. Seven of its 10 main groups were higher.

Six of the seven biggest advancers were financials, with the group up 0.6 percent overall and Sun Life Financial Inc rising 1.2 percent to C$40.32.   Continued...