* TSX rises 50.52 points to 11,483.89
* Materials, financials lead index higher (Updates with details, commentary)
By Claire Sibonney)
TORONTO, July 9 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index edged higher on Friday morning, adding to three straight sessions of gains, after stunning domestic employment data boosted investor confidence and bank shares, while strong metal prices pushed up the materials sector.
Canada’s economy created six times more jobs than forecast in June, a near-record gain that pressures the central bank to raise interest rates again this month, even as cracks in the U.S. recovery threaten to cool the country’s scorching growth. [ID:nN09261751]
“Those good employment numbers have obviously reassured the market about growth,” said Gavin Graham, global strategist at Excel Funds Management.
As well, gold prices rose back above $1,210 an ounce as a global stock market rally showed signs of running out of steam, while copper was up nearly 2 percent as demand prospects brightened, sending materials shares 2.1 percent higher. [GOL/] [MET/L]
Among the top gainers, Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) was up 2.3 percent at C$45.42, while Teck Resources TCKb.TO rose 2.2 percent to C$35.20.
Financial stocks, which can be sensitive to interest rate expectations, gained 0.3 percent after a wobbly start, as the positive prospects for growth outweighed any negative implications of higher borrowing costs.
At 10:35 a.m. (1435 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 50.52 points, or 0.4 percent, at 11,483.89. Five of the 10 main sectors were higher.
On the downside, energy shares slid 0.2 percent, despite a rise in the price of oil, after an influential U.S. lawmaker called on Washington to block a TransCanada (TRP.TO) pipeline that would supply U.S. refineries with Canada’s oil sands crude. [O/R] [ID:nN06111247]
Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee, urged the U.S. State Department to block the planned Keystone XL pipeline, arguing that the “dirtiest” source of crude undermined efforts to battle global warming.
“It seems a little odd with the Gulf of Mexico spill going on to be protesting about the possible C02 emissions from oil sands,” said Graham.
Shares of TransCanada dropped 0.3 percent to C$36.58, while Suncor Energy (SU.TO), Canada’s biggest oil company, was down 0.1 percent at C$32.84.
$1=$1.03 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Rob Wilson