TORONTO – The Toronto stock market ended solidly higher Friday after a broad advance powered by commodity prices and a solid jobs report south of the border.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed ahead 81.20 points at 15,170.02, but slipped about one per cent on the week, after several sessions of volatile trading. The TSX has endured a slide in energy stocks as traders weighed the potential impacts of the NDP’s majority win in the Alberta election.
However, it was energy stocks that led Friday’s advance, rising 1.4 per cent as oil prices resumed their upward trek. Benchmark crude rose 45 cents to US$59.39 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold prices for the June contract rose $6.70 to US$1,188.90 an ounce, driving the gold sector higher.
The telecom sector was the biggest decliner, falling 1.9 per cent. Shares of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (TSX:MBT) dropped 3.7 per cent after the company announced late Thursday that it’s cutting 400 people from the workforce at its Allstream national division, which reduces the staff by a quarter.
The loonie added 0.20 of a U.S. cent to 82.71 cents.
On Wall Street, stock markets logged their biggest gain in two months after the latest U.S. Labor Department report which showed the American economy added 223,000 jobs in April after a dismal March that saw only 85,000 net jobs created.
The Dow Jones industrial average soared 267.05 points to 18,191.11, rising 0.9 per cent on the week .
The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 58.01 points to 5,003.55, while the S&P 500 gained 28.10 points to 2,116.10 — marking its biggest single-day increase since March 16.
Hollisweath senior adviser Allan Small said the climb in markets, considering the recent triple-digit declines, shouldn’t be surprising to investors.
“I don’t believe those sell-offs were appropriate,” he said.
“It was overblown to the downside, so it would make a sense that a big run today would be overblown to the upside.”
Employment numbers in Canada were less rosy, with Statistics Canada reporting the economy lost 19,700 net jobs last month.
However, some observers saw a silver lining in the numbers, noting the addition of 46,900 higher-quality, full-time positions in April while shedding 66,500 part-time positions. The economy also registered a net gain of 24,200 private-sector positions compared to a net loss of 19,900 jobs in the public sector.
In corporate news, McDonald’s reported that a key sales metric declined in April as the hamburger chain struggles to make headway in its turnaround plan. The company said global sales at established locations open at least 13 months fell 0.6 per cent for the month, though the same metric dropped a steeper 2.3 per cent in the United States on fewer consumers and stronger competition.
Next week, U.S. traders will be closely watching retail sales for signs of improvement, while manufacturing shipments will be in focus for Canada.
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