TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index gained on Friday as gold miners jumped with the precious metal after weak U.S. jobs data hurt the U.S. dollar, offsetting losses for financial stocks and some energy companies.
Seventeen of the 20 most influential gainers on the index were from the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies. The group gained 6.5 percent.
“If you want to employ a levered way to play the gold area, this is gold miners rather than the price of gold,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.
Gold prices surged more than 2 percent after U.S. payrolls data fell well short of forecasts, bolstering the view that the Federal Reserve would hold interest rates steady.
Diversified miners also gained as a range of base metals prices were boosted by a weaker U.S. dollar.
Teck Resources TCKb.TO advanced 7.3 percent to C$13.85, and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) gained 6.4 percent to C$9.15.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 89.79 points, or 0.64 percent, at 14,226.78. It gained 0.9 percent on the week, its fourth straight weekly advance.
Among the main laggards was Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO), which declined 2 percent to C$19.04. The insurer said late on Thursday that it would take a 49 percent stake in a Toronto real estate company.
Brookfield Asset Management (BAMa.TO) slipped 0.8 percent to C$45.84 after Asciano shareholders voted for Brookfield’s buyout proposal.
Half of the index’s 10 main groups gained and decliners outnumbered advancers by five to four.
The energy group retreated 0.5 percent, with Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) down 1 percent at C$35.60.
Oil prices fell after industry data showed U.S. drillers added rigs in the week.
U.S. crude CLc1 prices were down 0.7 percent to $48.83 a barrel, while Brent LCOc1 lost 0.4 percent to $49.84.
Gold futures GCc1 rose 2.5 percent to $1,243.8 an ounce and copper prices CMCU3 advanced 1.7 percent to $4,688 a tonne.
Canada ran a near-record trade deficit of C$2.94 billion ($2.28 billion) in April as the economy continued to struggle with weak crude oil prices that have slashed the value of exports and curbed growth.
Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Alan Crosby