TSX boosted by higher oil prices, U.S. jobs data

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday to extend this week’s gains, helped by higher oil prices, which boosted energy shares, and a lift to bond yields after data showed stronger-than-expected jobs growth in the United States.

The Toronto Stock Exchange sign is seen in Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 66.01 points, or 0.43 percent, at 15,257.97. For the week, the index gained 0.9 percent.

“We have had some strong earnings out of Canada which is starting to turn the index around,” said Ian Scott, equity analyst at Manulife Asset Management.

The index closed on Friday above its 50-day moving average for just the second time since early May, which could be a bullish signal.

Higher oil prices boosted energy shares nearly 2 percent, with Suncor Energy Inc climbing 1.3 percent to C$41.73.

U.S. crude oil prices settled 1.1 percent higher at $49.58 a barrel after a strong U.S. jobs report bolstered hopes for growing energy demand.

The U.S. data also lifted bond yields and gave “a bid to the financials,” Scott said.

Signs of U.S. labor market tightness likely clears the way for the Federal Reserve to announce a plan to start shrinking its massive bond portfolio.

Higher yields reduce the value of insurance companies’ liabilities and increase net interest margins of banks.

Royal Bank of Canada rose 0.6 percent to C$94.52 and Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd climbed 2.2 percent to C$613.20.

Canadian data also showed employment growth, but also a jump in the trade deficit which weighed on the Canadian dollar.

A pullback this week in the loonie, which has still strengthened more than 9 percent since early May, could provide some relief for the country’s exporters.

Industrials rose 0.4 percent as railroad stocks advanced, while consumer discretionary stocks climbed 1 percent and technology rose 0.9 percent.

Open Text Corp rose 4 percent to C$43.62 as several analysts increased their price targets on the business software company’s stock after its quarterly earnings impressed.

Eight of the index’s 10 main groups ended higher.

Major gold miners were among the heaviest weights as the spot price of the precious metal took a hit from expectations of tighter monetary policy from the Fed.

Barrick Gold Corp declined 2.1 percent to C$21.02 and Kinross Gold fell 2.9 percent to C$5.29.

Gold futures fell 0.7 percent to $1,258.5 an ounce. [GOL/]

First Majestic Silver Corp tumbled 18.5 percent to C$7.89 after it reported disappointing earnings and outlook.

Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Bill Trott and David Gregorio