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Canadian Market Remains In Positive Territory After Firm Start

After a fairly bright start and a subsequent fall from higher levels, the Canadian stock market remains fairly well placed in positive territory an hour past noon on Friday, led by strong gains in materials shares.

The market saw some volatility earlier in the session with investors digesting jobs data from Canada and the U.S.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which advanced to a new high at 20,050.36 in early trades and dropped to a low of 19,973.24 subsequently, is up 69.77 points or 0.35% at 20,011.16 nearly an hour past noon.

Among the major gainers in the Materials Index, Ero Copper (ERO.TO) is surging up 6.6%, First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) is climbing up 4%, Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO) is rising 3.5%, Silvercrest Metals (SIL.TO) is up 3.3%, MAG Silver (MAG.TO) is advancing 3.1% and Lundin Mining (LUN.TO) is up nearly 3%. Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO), Franco-Nevada Corp (FNV.TO), Ssr Mining (SSRM.TO), Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM.TO) and Nutrien (NTR.TO) are also up sharply.

Information technology stock Lightspeed Pos (LSPD.TO) is gaining 3.6%. Kinaxis Inc (KXS.TO), Descartes Systems (DSG.TO), Absolute Software (ABST.TO) and Celestica Inc (CLS.TO) are up 2 to 2.8%. Open Text Corp (OTEX.TO), Sierra Wireless (SW.TO), CGI Group (GIB.A.TO) and Alithya Group (ALYA.TO) are also up with strong gains.

Healthcare stocks Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO), Tilray Inc (TLRY.TO), Organigram Holdings (OGI.TO), Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO) and Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (AUP.TO) are down 2.7 to 4.5%.

Data released by Statistics Canada showed the Canadian economy shed 68,000 jobs in the month of May 2021, much more than an expected decline of 20,000 jobs. The economy lost 207,000 jobs in April.

Full Time Employment in Canada decreased by 13,800 in May, while part time employment increased to -54,200 in the month from -77,800 in April of 2021.

The unemployment rate in Canada increased to 8.2% in May, up from 8.1% a month earlier.

Another report from Statistics Canada showed labour productivity in the country fell 1.7% in the first quarter after seeing a decline of 2.1% a quarter earlier.

A report from Richard Ivey School of Business said the Ivey Purchasing Managers Index in Canada rose to 64.7 in May from 60.6 in the previous month, pointing to a faster economic activity growth.

The U.S. Labor Department's data showed U.S. employment jumped by 559,000 jobs in May. However, that was a smaller than expected increase. U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.8% in the month, the data showed.

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