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  (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

 

(Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

At midday: TSX modestly higher at end of positive week Add to ...

Industrials and financials led the way to a modest advance Friday on the Toronto stock market at the end of a positive week.

The S&P/TSX composite index rose 30.79 points to 15,241.83. It is a relatively quiet session with low volumes as U.S. markets were closed for the Independence Day holiday.

The Canadian dollar edged up 0.05 of a cent to 94.04 cents (U.S.).

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The Toronto market headed for a strong weekly gain, led by mining and financial stocks after U.S. jobs data for June released Thursday came in far higher than expectations. The data also increased optimism that the American economy will rebound significantly after severe winter weather pushed the economy into contraction in the first quarter.

The Dow Jones industrials finished the week up 1.28 per cent, and closed above the 17,000-mark for the first time, thanks to the jobs report and solid manufacturing data from the U.S. and China.

The strong U.S. jobs data is the latest piece of data to show the world’s biggest economy continues to improve steadily. Also helping stocks are solid corporate earnings and continued support from central banks.

Traders are now focused on the start of U.S. second-quarter earnings reports for reassurance about how the American economy performed during the April-June period. Heavyweights reporting next week include resource company Alcoa Inc. and banking giant Wells Fargo.

At the same time, analysts note that expectations for the quarter are rather modest.

“OK, but not spectacular,” said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD Waterhouse.

“Firms have been lowering expectations so that may bring some of the very strong sentiment down to earth a bit,” Gorman said.

On the corporate front, Lassonde Industries Inc. is acquiring U.S. branded juice company Apple & Eve for $150-million (U.S.). The Quebec-based juice maker says the acquisition will strengthen its presence in the United States. Lassonde shares ran ahead $7.89 or 7.18 per cent to $117.75.

The industrials sector was the biggest percentage advancer, up 0.7 per cent.

Financials also provided lift, ahead 0.35 per cent.

Commodity prices were mixed in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange with August bullion 70 cents higher to $1,321.30 an ounce. The gold sector gained 0.15 per cent.

The base metals sector was the biggest decliner, down 0.4 per cent while September copper was off a penny at $3.27 a pound.

The energy sector was slightly lower as August crude moved 32 cents lower to $103.74 a barrel.

On the economic front, German factory orders sagged in May after a strong increase the previous month, driven down by lower demand inside the country and from outside the euro area. Industrial orders were 1.7 per cent lower than in April, when they rose 3.4 per cent. Orders from inside Germany dropped 2.5 per cent and those from countries outside the euro zone fell 5.2 per cent. However, there was a 5.7 per cent increase in demand from other countries in the 18-nation euro zone.

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