Canadian Market Up Marginally After Paring Early Gains

After a slightly positive start and a subsequent move to higher levels, the Canadian market pared some gains Friday morning, and is currently up marginally, riding on gains in energy sections.

Information technology and healthcare stocks are among the prominent losers.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 21.33 points or 0.1% at 20,437.54. The index advanced to a high of 20,510.74 earlier in the day.

The uptick was due largely to data showing stronger than expected jobs growth in Canada in September. Data released by Statistics Canada showed the Canadian economy added a net 157,000 jobs in September, as against an expected addition of 65,000 jobs. The economy saw an expansion in the workforce for the fourth consecutive month.

The unemployment rate in Canada declined to 6.9% in September, falling for the fourth straight month. In August the unemployment rate came in 7.1%.

However, the U.S. saw a weaker than expected increase in non-farm payrolls in the month of September. The report said non-farm payroll employment rose by 194,000 jobs in September after climbing by an upwardly revised 366,000 jobs in August.

Economists had expected employment to jump by 500,000 jobs compared to the addition of 235,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Despite the much weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate fell to 4.8% in September from 5.2% in August. The unemployment rate was expected to edge down to 5.1%.

The Capped Energy Index is gaining 1.5%. Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Suncor Energy (SU.TO) and Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) are up 2 to 3%. Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Enerplus Corp (ERF.TO) and Parex Resources (PXT.TO) are also up with strong gains.

Financial shares Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO), Onex Corp (ONEX.TO), Laurentian Bank (LB.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) and Canadian Westen Bank (CWB.TO) are up 1 to 2.3%.

Information technology stocks Lightspeed Pos (LSPD.TO) and Dye & Durham (DND.TO) are down 6% and 5.5%, respectively. Nuvei Corp (NVEI.TO) is declining 4% and BlackBerry (BB.TO) is down by about 2.5%.

Healthcare stocks Tilray Inc (TLRY.TO) and Cronos Group (CRON.TO) are down 4.4% and 2.2%, respectively. Canopy Growth (WEED.TO) is down 1.7% and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) is lower by 1.6%.

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