TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday as gold shares rallied after data tempered Federal Reserve rate hike expectations, while energy stocks also gained after oil prices turned higher.
The most influential movers on the index included Barrick Gold Corp, which rose 3.6 percent to C$23.83, and Goldcorp Inc, which advanced 2.8 percent to C$24.78.
Spot gold rose 0.8 percent after weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data boosted expectations the Fed will delay further interest rate increases.
About one-third of Canada’s daily oil sands crude capacity was knocked out and some pipelines were closed as a wildfire ravaged the oil town of Fort McMurray in Alberta. However, production facilities have not been in the fire’s path.
“If they control the fire they should be able to get people up there to run those facilities and get that stuff online again,” said Manash Goswami, portfolio manager at First Asset Investment Management Inc.
Suncor Energy Inc, which cut production this week due to the wildfire, snapped a five-day losing run. Its shares rose 2.1 percent to C$33.84.
Enbridge Inc shares rose 0.7 percent to C$50.69. The company filed a request with Canada’s national energy regulator for an extension of its permit for the proposed Northern Gateway project.
The energy group rose 0.9 percent as oil prices turned higher. U.S. crude futures settled at $44.66 a barrel, up 0.77 percent.
Still, production cuts due to the wildfire may stall Canadian growth in the second quarter, economists warned.
Shares of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc rose 7.2 percent to C$48.97. The engineering and construction company reported on Thursday a higher-than-expected first-quarter profit.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 69.46 points, or 0.51 percent, at 13,701.47. Seven of the index’s 10 main groups ended higher.
However, it fell 1.8 percent for the week after having touched a six-month high last Friday at 13,972.62.
Slower revenue and earnings growth and weaker economic data may be challenging for the market, said Goswami, who expects the index to pull back further before turning bullish.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc fell 13.3 percent to C$38.58. The company said on Thursday it has formed a new committee to review its drug pricing.
The Canadian labor market stalled in April as the oil-producing province of Alberta shed more jobs in the natural resource sector.
Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by James Dalgleish and Meredith Mazzilli
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