TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday after data showing a surprise acceleration in U.S. jobs growth fueled strong gains in financial and energy shares.
The market was also supported by a jump in Talisman Energy Inc TLM.TO after the oil producer said it would sell a stake in its natural gas assets in British Columbia’s Montney field to Malaysia-controlled Progress Energy Canada Ltd for C$1.5 billion ($1.44 billion).
Jobs growth in the United States unexpectedly picked up in October despite the federal government shutdown that month, suggesting the U.S. budget standoff had a more limited impact on the economy than initially thought.
The employment figure, however, also raised market anxiety that the U.S. Federal Reserve might scale back its stimulus program sooner than expected.
While those concerns made investors pull back earlier in the day, they later brushed aside worries about the Fed.
“There’s so much pent-up demand in the market right now that investors can drive it up despite the fear of tapering,” said Keith G. Richards, portfolio manager and technical analyst at ValueTrend Wealth Management.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 84.13 points, or 0.63 percent, at 13,378.33. The index recorded a gain of 0.3 percent on the week.
The Canadian benchmark index has added about 5.4 percent in the past month.
“The development on the TSX is bullish,” Richards said, adding that much of the momentum would favor such areas of the market as materials, healthcare and mid-cap stocks.
Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on Friday.
The energy sector jumped 1.4 percent. Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) climbed 2.2 percent to C$36.87. Talisman rose 1.6 percent to C$12.42.
Gold-mining shares rebounded after an initial selloff, despite a sharp fall in the price of bullion. <GOL/> In the group, Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) added 0.8 percent to C$25.71.
Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), the world’s biggest gold producer, was in the news after the company indicated that Chairman Peter Munk was likely to step down at next year’s annual meeting. The stock was up 0.5 percent at C$19.07.
In other company news, Telus Corp (T.TO) reported a 10 percent rise in quarterly profit, sending its shares up 1.7 percent to C$36.90.
Manitoba Telecom Services Inc MBT.TO slipped 2.4 percent after the company said it would consider issuing equity to help fund pension obligations after a major asset sale was blocked by Canada’s federal government.
Air Canada’s ACb.TO third-quarter results topped market estimates as a key measure of costs fell. The stock soared 7.2 percent to C$5.99.
Editing by Peter Galloway