Canadian stocks snapped a four-day loss to end sharply higher Friday, helped mainly by commodities, financial, and resource issues following some positive jobs data and service sector activity data from the U.S. Meanwhile, the eurozone took a back seat with investors more optimistic of ECB's stance on bond buying to overcome the financial crisis.
Employment in the U.S. rose more than anticipated in July, a report by the Labor Department showed Friday. Nonetheless, the report also showed an unexpected uptick in unemployment rate. Meanwhile, results from the Institute for Supply Management's survey of activity in the service sector in the U.S. for July showed continued growth at a slighter faster rate.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed Friday at 11,662.29, up 155.79 points or 1.35 percent. The Index touched an intraday high of 11,687.65 and a low of 11,512.16.
Earlier in the week, the index traded lower after the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank refrained from announcing any further quantitative easing for economic growth and to tackle the eurozone sovereign debt crisis.
The Metals & Mining Index gained 2.05 percent, led by Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) up 3.29 percent and Teck Resources Limited (TCK.B.TO) advancing 1.52 percent. First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.TO) shed 0.26 percent.
The Financial Index moved up 1.22 percent with Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) gaining 1.30 percent, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) up 1.45 percent, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) up 0.97 percent. Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC.TO) gained 3.96 percent.
The Energy Index surged 2.49 percent with U.S. crude oil futures for September delivery surging $4.27 or 4.9 percent to close at $91.40 a barrel Friday on the NYMEX.
Among energy stocks, Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM.TO) moved up 2.46 percent, Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) up 1.17 percent, Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) up 3.57 percent, and Husky Energy Inc. (HSE.TO) gaining 3.76 percent.
The Global Gold Index gained 1.25 percent, with gold futures for December delivery moving up $18.60 or 1.2 percent to close at $1,609.30 an ounce Friday on the NYMEX. The Capped Materials Index advanced 1.22 percent.
Among gold stocks, Kinross Gold Corp. (K.TO) gained 2.51 percent, while Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) edged up 1.20 percent. Eldorado Gold Corp. (ELD.TO) gained 2.93 percent, while Yamana Gold Inc. (YRI.TO) moved up 0.95 percent.
Fertilizer maker Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT.TO) edged down 0.02 percent.
Transportation systems maker Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) gained 2.57 percent, while Blackberry maker Research In Motion Limited (RIM.TO) edged down 0.29 percent.
In corporate news, IGM Financial Inc. (IGM.TO) moved up 0.37 percent after posting second-quarter net income of C$179.0 million or C$0.70 per share, down from last year. Analysts expected earnings of C$0.75 per share.
Fertilizer producer CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (CF) agreed to acquire Canada's biggest grain handler Viterra, Inc.'s (VT.TO, VTA.AX) 34 percent interest in Canadian Fertilizers Ltd. or CFL, from Swiss commodities trader Glencore International Plc (GLEN.L) for C$915 million in cash. Shares of Viterra edged up 0.19 percent.
Engineering and construction company SNC-Lavalin (SNC.TO) dived over 5 percent after reporting a sharply lower second-quarter profit of C$32.49 million or C$0.21 per share versus C$102.2 million or C$0.67 per share last year. Analysts anticipated earnings of C$0.56 per share for the quarter.
Fertilizer maker Agrium Inc. (AGU.TO) gained 0.75 percent after reporting a second-quarter profit that grew to $860 million or $5.44 per share from $718 million or $4.54 per share a year ago. Excluding items, adjusted earnings were $864 million or $5.47 per share. Analysts expected earnings of $5.22 per share for the quarter.
In economic news, the U.S. Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment increased by 163,000 jobs in July following a downwardly revised increase of 64,000 jobs in June. Economists expected employment to increase by about 100,000 jobs compared to the 80,000 jobs increase originally reported for the previous month. Despite the job growth, the unemployment rate edged up to 8.3 percent in July from 8.2 percent in June.
The Institute for Supply Management's survey of activity in the service sector showed its non-manufacturing index crept up to 52.6 in July from 52.1 in June, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the service sector. Economists expected the index to edge down to a reading of 52.0.
Elsewhere, eurozone retail sales volume rose 0.1 percent month-on-month in June, Eurostat reported. The June increase was in contrast to a 0.1 percent decline forecast by economists. In May, retail trade increased 0.8 percent. On a yearly basis, retail sales fell 1.2 percent in June, bigger than the 0.8 percent drop logged in May. Economists had forecast a 1.9 percent drop for June.
Meanwhile, a survey report from Markit Economics revealed that the private sector in the euro zone contracted for the tenth time in the past 11 months. The final composite output index rose to 46.5 from 46.4 in June, Friday. According to flash estimate, the index remained unchanged at 46.4.
by RTT Staff Writer
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