Newspaper article The Canadian Press

TSX Higher: Resource Stocks, Commodities Up, US$ Weakens after Subpar Jobs Data

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

TSX Higher: Resource Stocks, Commodities Up, US$ Weakens after Subpar Jobs Data

Article excerpt

Stocks mixed, U.S. jobs data disappoints

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TORONTO - Resource stocks gave a major push to the Toronto stock market Friday amid mixed North American jobs reports, with energy and mining stocks benefiting from commodity prices that ran ahead as the U.S. dollar weakened following a disappointing read on American job creation.

The S&P/TSX composite index jumped 127.45 points to 14,690.83. The weaker American currency and a strong Canadian employment report sent the loonie up 0.72 of a cent to 88.24 cents US.

The Canadian economy created 43,100 jobs last month. Economists had forecast the country would actually shed about 5,000 jobs after adding 74,000 in September. The Canadian unemployment rate dropped sharply from 6.8 per cent to 6.5 per cent, the lowest since November 2008.

New York markets were generally lacklustre after the U.S. economy generated 215,000 positions in October, lower than the 235,000 reading that economists had expected. However, the U.S. jobless rate also fell, dropping to 5.8 from 5.9 per cent. Also, U.S. job creation estimates for the past two months were revised upward by 31,000.

New York's Dow industrials climbed 19.46 points to 17,573.93, the Nasdaq declined 5.94 points to 4,632.53 and the S&P 500 index was up 0.71 of a point to 2,031.92.

Some analysts were curious about the market reaction since the data showed that employers have now added at least 200,000 jobs for nine straight months -- the longest such stretch since 1995.

"It's an example of shoot first and ask questions later," said Craig Jerusalim, portfolio manager at CIBC Asset Management.

"It wasn't all that bad. There's still over 200,000 jobs (created), the participation rate picked up, the unemployment rate came down nicely, people are going back to work. Why? Because the economy is starting to gain some proper momentum and fundamental strength in my view. …

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