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TSX Ends On Buoyant Note; Energy Stocks Sparkle

The Canadian stock market opened on a firm note on Friday and stayed positive right through the session to eventually close with strong gains, as optimism about a U.S.-China trade deal and upbeat U.S. jobs data lifted sentiment.

Strong gains in energy stocks after OPEC and allies decided to deepen output cuts till March 2020, contributed significantly to market's positive close.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 142.05 points, or 0.84%, at 16,996.97, after scaling a low of 16,930.03 and a high of 17,023.28 in the session.

The Capped Energy Index climbed almost 4.5%. Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) gained 7.7%, ARC Resources (ARX.TO) moved up nearly 7% and MEG Energy (MEG.TO) ended up 6.6%.

Tourmaline Oil Corp (TOU.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO), Suncor Energy (SU.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO), Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), Baytex Energy (BTE.TO), Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), Seven Generations Energy (VII.TO), Enerplus Corp (ERF.TO) and Encana Corp (ECA.TO) gained 3 to 6%.

In the industrial section, Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) gained more than 3%, Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) gained 2.6%, Ats Automation (ATA.TO) advanced 2.3% and Finning International (FTT.TO) gained 2.25%. Ballard Power Systems (BLDP.TO), Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO), Thomson Reuters (TRI.TO) and Cargojet (CJT.TO) ended higher by 1 to 2%.

Consumer staples shares Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (ATD.B.TO), Maple Leaf Foods (MFI.TO), Saputo Inc. (SAP.TO) and Premium Brands Holdings Corp (PBH.TO) gained 1 to 2.1%.

First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) ended 5.8% up and Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC.TO) gained 1.4% on strong volumes.

West Fraser Timber Co. (WFT.TO), CGI Inc. (GIB.A.TO) and Precision Drilling (PD.TO) were among the other prominent gainers in the session.

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 ended sharply higher thanks to much stronger than expected monthly jobs data and the University of Michigan's report that showed a notable improvement in consumer sentiment.

Positive comments from both Chinese and U.S. about a phase one trade deal aided sentiment.

The Dow soared 1.2%, the Nasdaq gained 1% and the S&P 500 ended up nearly 1%.

Markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher. The major European markets too closed on a strong note.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended up $0.77, or about 1.3%, at $59.20 a barrel, the highest settlement since September 17.

Gold futures for February ended down $18.00, or about 1.2%, at $1,465.10 an ounce.

Silver futures for March ended down $0.463 at $16.596 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $2.7250 per pound, up $0.0620 from previous close.

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