Canada’s main stock index hit a record high on Friday, supported by energy stocks and was set to clock its best week since November, offsetting concerns about worse-than-expected domestic jobs data for January.
The S&P/TSX Composite popped 103.57 points to reach noon hour EST at 18,145.54.
The Canadian dollar picked up 0.3 cents to 78.28 cents U.S.
The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Eldorado Gold, which jumped $1.01, or 6.9%, to $15.76, after signing a revised contract with Greece to govern further development, construction and operation of its Kassandra Mines.
Interfor Corporation rose $1.50, or 5.6%, to $28.03 after reporting strong fourth-quarter results.
Canopy Growth fell $1.23, or 2.2%, the most on the TSX, to $55.10. The second-biggest decliner was Intertape Polymer Group, down 27 cents, or 1.1%, to $23.32.
It’s a busy day on the macroeconomic scene, with Statistics Canada informing us the economy lost 213,000 jobs during January, thus boosting the unemployment rate to 9.4%. Losses were entirely in part-time work and were concentrated in the Quebec and Ontario retail trade sectors.
At the same time, the nation’s number crunchers reported Canada’s merchandise exports rose 1.5% in December, while imports fell 2.3%. As a result, Canada’s merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed from $3.6 billion in November to $1.7 billion in December, the lowest deficit since June 2020.
Western University’s IVEY Business School is out with its Purchasing Managers Index for January. The index gained ground to 48.4 from December’s 46.7, but was down from the 57.3 figure in January 2020.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will succeed in inoculating its population despite “momentary disruptions” in the supply of COVID-19 vaccines and is working closely with the new U.S. administration to fight the disease.
The TSX Venture Exchange grew 29.05 points, or 2.9%, to 1,027.19.
All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive midday Friday, with energy and materials each acquiring 1.1%, and gold brightening 0.9%.
The two laggards proved to be health-care, shedding 0.2%, and consumer staples, off 0.1%.
U.S. stocks climbed on Friday, with the major averages trying to finish their best week since November, as investors hoped a disappointing January jobs report would increase the likelihood of further stimulus.
The Dow Jones Industrials leaped 110.59 points to 31,166.45.
The S&P 500 strengthened 15.03 points to 3,886.80. The 30-stock Dow and the S&P 500 are on track to post their fifth straight positive day.
The NASDAQ Composite climbed 50.48 points to 13,828.64, after both S&P and NASDAQ closed at record highs in the previous session.
The major averages are on pace for their best weekly performance since November. The blue-chip Dow has gained 2%, while the S&P 500 sprang 4.6%, and the NASDAQ has risen 5.6%. The market rebounded from last week’s sharp losses as the speculative trading frenzy dissipated.
Wall Street is in the middle of a solid earnings season. Of the 184 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings to date, 84.2% topped analyst expectations.
The U.S. Labor Department said the economy added 49,000 jobs in January, slightly below the 50,000 payrolls expected by economists. The unemployment rate fell to 6.3%, better than projections of 6.7%. December’s numbers were revised much lower, with the month posting a loss of 227,000 from the initial reading of 140,000 jobs lost.
Prices for 10-Year Treasurys were lower, raising yields to 1.15% from Thursday’s 1.14%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices grabbed 65 cents to $56.88 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices shone $19.20 to $1,810.40 U.S. an ounce.