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TSX Ends Sharply Higher

Canadian shares ended on a buoyant note on Friday, mirroring the trend in the U.S. and European markets, on optimism about U.S.-China trade talks scheduled to be held next week.

Rising crude oil prices, encouraging services sector data from China and strong U.S. and Canadian jobs reports aided sentiment.

Energy, information technology, consumer discretionary and financial shares led the market higher. The Capped Energy Index jumped more than 3%, the Technology Index advanced by 2.7%, the Consumer Discretionary index advanced by about 2.4% and the Financial Index ended 1.53% up. Industrials and healthcare stocks too ended notably higher.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Computer Index ended up 213.87 points, or 1.5%, at 14,426.62, slightly off the day's high of 14,438.60.

On Thursday, the index ended down 134.41 points, or 0.94%, at 14,212.75 after scaling a low of 14,155.27 and a high of 14,297.89 in the session.

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO), Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), Encana Corporation (ECA.TO), Vermilion Energy Inc. (VET.TO), Husky Energy Inc. (HSE.TO), PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO) and Seven Generations Energy (VII.TO) gained 2 to 4%. Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU.TO) gained about 1.3%, while Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE.TO) rose by more than 5.5%.

Among bank stocks, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) gained 1 to 1.7%, while National Bank of Canada edged up marginally.

In the technology space, CGI Group Inc. (GIB.A.TO), Open Text Corporation (OTEX.TO), Constellation Software Inc (CSU.TO), Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO) and Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO) ended higher by 1 to 2%.

Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) jumped 5.8%, BlackBerry (BB.TO) gained 4.1%, Descartes Systems Group Inc. (DSG.TO) added 3.5% and Sierra Wireless Inc. (SW.TO) gained about 3%.

Among materials shares, Nutrien (NTR.TO) climbed up nearly 4%, Teck Resources (TECK.B.T) jumped 5% and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) soared 7.4%.

Franco-Nevada Corporation (FNV.TO) declined by 3.4%, Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) shed 2.4%, Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. (WPM.TO) ended 4.2% down, Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO) declined by 2.7% and Kirkland Lake Gold (KL.TO) shed 3.7%.

Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.TO), Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO), Baytex Energy Corp. (BTE.TO), Shaw Communications (SJR.B.TO), Lundin Mining Corporation (LUN.TO), Kelt Exploration (KEL.TO) and Maxar Technologies (MAXR.TO) rose sharply.

Hudson's Bay soared nearly 16%. Rupert of the Rhine LLC, An entity controlled by Richard A. Baker, has entered into an agreement to acquire 17.95 million common shares of Hudson's Bay Company from a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, at a price of C$9.45 per share, representing 115% of the market price.

On the economic front, the Canadian economy added 9,300 jobs in December. The Canadian unemployment rate also held steady at 5.6%. Economists had expected an increase of 5,500 jobs and an unemployment rate of 5.7%.

Industrial Product Price Index decreased 0.8% in November, mainly due to lower prices for energy and petroleum products. The Raw Materials Price Index fell 11.7%, largely reflecting lower prices for crude energy products.

In U.S., Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell noted the central bank "will be patient" with monetary policy as it watches the economy evolve.

The Fed chief said the central bank is always prepared to significantly shift the stance of monetary policy if incoming economic data does not meet expectations.

The Labor Department's report showed a much stronger than expected job growth in the U.S. in the month of December. The report said non-farm payroll employment soared by 312,000 jobs in December after climbing by an upwardly revised 176,000 jobs in November.

Economists had expected employment to increase by about 177,000 jobs compared to the addition of 155,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

China's commerce ministry said that China and the United States would hold vice ministerial level trade talks in Beijing on January 7-8 in a bid to defuse trade tensions.

Data relesed by Markit said growth in China's services sector edged higher in December. The Caixin/Markit services PMI rose to a six-month high of 53.9 in December from 53.8 in November.

Asian stocks ended mixed on Friday, with solid services sector data and hopes of trade talks lifting Chinese stocks sharply higher, while Japanese shares succumbed to heavy selling as trading resumed after a long week of holidays.

The European markets ended sharply higher, reacting to positive Chinese data, news about upcoming U.S.-China trade talks and strong U.S. employment data.

In commodities, crude oil futures for February ended up $0.87, or 1.9%, at $47.96 a barrel, extending gains to a fifth successive session.

Gold futures for February ended down $9.00, or 0.7%, at $1,285.80 an ounce.

Silver futures for March ended at $15.786 an ounce, down $0.011 from previous close. Copper futures for March settled at $2.647 per pound, gaining $0.079 for the session.

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