The Toronto stock market was higher Friday as job creation data in the U.S. came in well above expectations.
The S&P/TSX composite index gained 47.67 points to 14,319.59 while other data showed Canadian employment figures registered a big miss, with the economy shedding 7,000 jobs last month against the gain of 15,000 that economists had expected.
The Canadian unemployment rate was unchanged at seven per cent.
The dollar tumbled 0.72 of a cent to 90.26 cents (U.S.) following the report.
New York racked up a solid advance after the U.S. Labor Department reported that the American economy created 175,000 jobs last month, well above expectations for 139,000 job gains. The unemployment rate rose to 6.7 per cent from 6.6 per cent.
The Dow Jones industrials ran up 71.21 points to 16,493.1, the Nasdaq rose 8.44 points to 4,360.57 and the S&P 500 index was ahead 5.97 points to 1,883.
Tech stocks led the TSX higher with the sector ahead 1.75 per cent, paced by a six per cent gain in Constellation Software.
The energy component climbed 0.7 per cent while the April crude contract in New York was 77 cents higher to $102.33 (U.S.) a barrel.
Penn West Petroleum Ltd. had a quarterly net loss of $728-million or $1.49 a share compared with a year-earlier net loss of $78-million or 16 cents per share. The most recent loss was mostly due to non-cash asset impairment charges related to the company’s disposal of natural gas assets. Penn West shares advanced 20 cents to $8.90.
The National Energy Board has given the go-ahead to Enbridge’s plan to reverse the flow and increase the capacity of its Line 9 pipeline that runs between Sarnia, Ont., and Montreal. The approval is subject to a number of conditions, which include Enbridge being required to undertake activities involving pipeline integrity and emergency response and its shares rose 38 cents to $48.92.
The gold sector led decliners, down 1.2 per cent as April bullion fell $16.40 to $1,335.40 an ounce.
The metals and mining sector dropped 0.7 per cent as May copper tumbled 11 cents to $3.11 a pound.
Air Canada says its system load factor for February decreased to 79 per cent compared with 79.8 per cent a year ago as it added capacity faster than traffic grew. Its shares added six cents to $6.54.
Overseas, Chinese authorities have allowed the country’s first corporate bond default. Investors in bonds sold in 2012 by Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology Co., a manufacturer of solar panels, were paid as little as three per cent of the interest that was due Friday.
Until now, Beijing has bailed out troubled borrowers to preserve confidence in its fledgling credit markets. But the ruling Communist Party has pledged to allow market forces a bigger role.
Investors could be nervous going into the weekend. The week start started off with a selloff on markets after Russian troops last weekend invaded Ukraine’s Crimea region, where it has major military installations. But markets regained their footing by the following day as it became apparent that Western countries weren’t planning on an armed response to that incursion.