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Canadian Market Rises As Energy Stocks Rally

Canadian shares were up sharply in positive territory Friday morning, as optimism about a U.S.-China trade deal and higher crude oil prices lifted sentiment and pushed up prices across several counters.

Except stocks from materials and healthcare sections, shares from most of the other sectors were up with handsome gains. Energy stocks were the star performers after OPEC and its allies agreed to supply cuts. Mirroring strong gains posted by key stocks in that space, the Capped Energy Index shot up as much as 2.85%.

Consumer staples, industrials, consumer discretionary and information technology shares were the other impressive gainers.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which rose to 17,023.28, was up 150.54 points, or 0.89%, at 17,005.46 at noon.

Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), ARC Resources (ARX.TO), Tourmaline Oil Corp (TOU.TO), MEG Energy (MEG.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Baytex Energy (BTE.TO), Enerplus Corp (ERF.TO) and Encana Corp (ECA.TO) gained 3 to 5.2%.

Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO), Suncor Energy (SU.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) also rose sharply.

In the industrial space, Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO), Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) and Ballard Power Systems (BLDP.TO) gained 3%, 2.6% and 2.3%, respectively. Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO), Finning International (FTT.TO), Ats Automation (ATA.TO), Badger Daylighting (BAD.TO) and Waste Connections (WCN.TO) gained 1.5 to 2%.

Among information technology stocks, Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) gained 3.5%, Absolute Software Corp (ABT.TO) advanced 2.5%, Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) gained 2%, Blackberry (BB.TO) advanced 1.3% and CGI Group (GIB.A.TO) gained 1.2%.

Among the stocks in the financial space, CI Financial Corp (CIX.TO) climbed 4.5%, Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) advanced 2%, while Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO), Power Financial Corp (PWF.TO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) and Power Corporation of Canada (POW.TO) gained 1 to 1.5%.

On the economic front, data from Statistics Canada said the Canadian economy lost 71,200 jobs in November of 2019 after shedding 1,800 jobs in the previous month.

The unemployment rate in Canada rose to 5.9% in November 2019 from 5.5% in the previous month and compared with market expectations of 5.5%.

U.S. stocks moved notably higher, after the Labor Department's closely watched monthly employment report showed much stronger than expected U.S. job growth in the month of November.

The market also benefited from the data released by the University of Michigan which showed a much bigger than expected improvement in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of December.

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