TORONTO (Reuters) - Resource stocks fueled a rally on Canada’s main stock index on Friday, as the market shrugged off weak U.S. jobs data and losses among banks, one of which raised cash and warned of a writedown.
The gains among miners, oil and gas producers and pipeline operators outpaced rises among some key commodities as the latest U.S. non-farm payrolls data fed investor doubts about whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise rates this year.
“I would not be surprised to see the Toronto market have some kind of bottom ... it certainly feels like it, and see a major move higher,” said Barry Schwartz, portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.
“But we need the banks to cooperate and the banks aren’t cooperating today. That was a big shock to me, what National did, raising capital here.”
National Bank of Canada (NA.TO), the smallest of Canada’s six main banks, fell 5.3 percent to C$40.89 after the lender warned of an asset writedown and restructuring costs and sought to raise C$300 million.
The financials group, by far the biggest sector weight on the index, pulled back 1.6 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) fell 2.2 percent to C$71.97, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) lost 2 percent to C$57.22.
But the banks’ retreat was eclipsed by a 2.2 percent gain for energy stocks, and 5.6 percent appreciation in the materials sector, which includes miners and chemical producers.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 97.85 points, or 0.74 percent, at 13,339.74. Eight of its 10 main groups rose, with advancers outnumbering decliners 186 to 51.
Schwartz said the longer rates stay low the better for equities more generally.
“We are in a low-growth, flat lined world and we’ve been that way for five years and the stock market climbed a giant amount,” he said. “Low interest rates are the best thing that can happen to competing assets to cash and fixed income.”
The Fed has said it was on track to raise rates this year, which would be the first such hike in nearly a decade. But the latest data could temper expectations.
Job growth in September was much smaller than expected while August figures were also revised lower.
Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio