*TSX up 29.14 points, or 0.25 percent, at 11,803.91
*Strong golds help TSX higher
*Financials, energy sector weaken after jobs data (Adds details, quote)
TORONTO, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index rose on Friday morning as strong gold prices helped to push up its resource-laden materials sector.
Gold prices rose to their highest level in three weeks as weak U.S. economic data knocked the greenback lower. [FRX/] Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) rose 2.6 percent to C$44.58, while fellow gold miner Agnico-Eagle (AEM.TO) climbed 2.8 percent to C$61.26.
The materials sector as a whole was up 1.9 percent, Also helping to give it a push up was fertilizer company Potash Corp POT.TO, which climbed 1.3 percent to C$117.46.
At 10:08 a.m. (1408 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 29.14 points, or 0.25 percent, at 11,803.91, with half of its 10 sectors higher.
The move higher was limited by investor caution as the market digested weaker than expected Canadian and U.S. jobs data.
Canada’s economy unexpectedly shed 9,300 jobs in July, the first month this year it has failed to create employment, suggesting the country’s recovery from recession is starting to slow. Analysts had expected a rise of 15,000 jobs. [ID:nN06197942]
Still, Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod, said Canadian stocks did not react too negatively because “a lot of this stuff is already in the market”.
“It is the first monthly jobs loss we’ve had this year. From that standpoint, when you look at it in the longer-term horizon, it’s not that bad,” he said.
U.S. stocks fell on Friday after U.S. data showed a steeper-than-expected drop of 131,000 in July non-farm payrolls. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a 65,000 drop. [.N] [ID:nN05598486]
The weak U.S. jobs report also helped to push down the price of oil toward $81 a barrel. In Toronto, Encana Corp (ECA.TO) fell 0.7 percent to C$32.17.
Auto parts maker Magna International MGa.TO was the top net gainer on the TSX. Magna, up 7.6 percent at C$81.47, reported much higher-than-expected quarterly results on Friday, with sales up about two-thirds on the back of a strong pickup in the North American car market. [ID:nSGE6750DP]
$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway