TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index advanced on Friday as a bullish U.S. jobs report helped ease concerns about the strength of the economic recovery and drove gains across most major sectors.
Figures showed hiring by U.S. employers in September accelerated and the jobless rate declined to a six-year low.
The data, however, also fueled a rise in the U.S. dollar and that weighed on commodities prices and on the shares of resource companies, limiting the Toronto stock market’s gains.
Despite the day’s advance, the benchmark TSX index posted its fifth straight weekly decline with sentiment hit by geopolitical concerns, news about the first case of Ebola in the United States and worries about when the U.S. Federal Reserve might raise interest rates.
Those concerns had helped bring the index to a four-month low on Thursday.
“We’re seeing a relief rally of sorts,” said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver. “It’s not clear yet whether the U.S. payroll numbers will be enough to offset some of the bearish sentiment that has crept into the market.”
“Investors need to be choosy, but there’s no shortage of high quality names in the bargain bin right now,” he said.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 29.14 points, or 0.2 percent, at 14,789.78. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
The energy and materials sectors were the two groups in the red as commodity prices sold off. Oil and gas producers lost 0.5 percent, with shares of Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) down 0.5 percent at C$39.58.
The gold-mining sector tumbled 3.7 percent, with the price of bullion falling below $1,200 for the first time this year. Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) dropped 3.2 percent to C$15.91, and Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) shed 3.5 percent to C$25.47.
Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Diane Craft