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The close: TSX rises with energy stocks, banks

A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto in this file photo.

© Mark Blinch / Reuters

Canada's main stock index ended up on Friday, with broad gains led by modest moves higher for its heavyweight energy and financial sectors while gold miners weighed.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index unofficially closed up 33.79 points, or 0.21 per cent, at 16,108.09. It added 0.7 per cent over the course of the week.

Financials gained 0.13 per cent. Manulife rose 0.5 per cent.

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The tech sector gained as CGI Group gained 1.2 per cent, Constellation Software added 1.5 per cent and and Shopify was up 0.75 per cent.

Energy stocks gained 0.2 per cent after oil prices reached a two-year high. Encana gained 0.9 per cent and Crescent Point gained 0.8 per cent.

Empire Co. Ltd. rose 1.2 per cent after its Sobey's grocery chain announced it is laying off more than 800 of its employees – almost 20 per cent of its office staff across the country – in its efforts to cut costs and turn around its struggling operations while preparing for a more digital future.

The energy group, which accounts for almost a fifth of the index's weight, rose 0.2 per cent, while the financials group, which accounts for more than a third, gained 0.1 per cent.

The smaller consumer discretionary group rose 0.6 per cent, echoing gains for U.S. retail stocks as the holiday shopping season appeared to get off to a strong start, especially online.

Discount retailer Dollarama Inc. rose 1.2 per cent to $162.03 after RBC raised its price target on the stock to $161 from $143.

U.S. crude prices hit their highest in more than two years as a shutdown at TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone pipeline continued to cut deliveries to storage facilities.

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TransCanada shares, which had fallen sharply earlier in the week, ended up 0.9 per cent at $63.48.

Nine of the index's 10 main sectors were higher, with the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, down 0.3 per cent.

Barrick Gold Corp. fell 1.5 per cent to $18.06 and Goldcorp Inc. lost 1.2 per cent to $16.76 as gold prices dipped.

Technology stocks led the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to record closing highs on Friday, with the S&P ending above 2,600 points for the first time, while Amazon and retail stocks got a boost from signs of a strong start to the holiday shopping season.

The Dow rose 31.81 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 23,557.99, while the S&P gained 5.34 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 2,602.42. The Nasdaq added 21.80 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 6,889.16.

The benchmark S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow Jones industrials posted weekly gains for the first time in three weeks while the Nasdaq Composite posted its best weekly performance since the week to Sept. 1.

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The stock market had a half session on what is known as Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday and the unofficial start of the U.S. holiday shopping season.

U.S. stores offered deep discounts, entertainment and gifts to draw bargain hunters, but some shoppers said they were just eyeing goods, reserving their cash for online purchases.

On Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, U.S. shoppers spent more than $2.87-billion online, according to Adobe Analytics.

Adobe, which measures 80 per cent of online transactions at the largest 100 U.S. web retailers, forecast online Black Friday sales of $5-billion, which would be a record high. Online retailers could rake in an additional $6.6-billion on Cyber Monday.

The S&P retail index rose 0.75 per cent and hit a record intraday high, led by Amazon's 2.6 per cent gain.

"In the retail environment, Amazon is extremely important – the fact that Amazon continued to soar bodes well for the fourth-quarter holiday shopping season and it bodes well for Wall Street," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of 50 Park Investments.

Brick-and-mortar stores, which have been boosting their online presence, also fared well.

Macy's closed up 2.1 per cent at $21.07. The department store operator's chief executive told CNBC the company was better off this year than last and was seeing very robust online demand.

Kohl's, Gap and J.C. Penney were up between 0.6 per cent and 1.6 per cent.

Target ended 2.8 per cent lower at $55.88, with analysts noting that it closed its stores for several hours overnight while rivals stayed open. Wal-Mart inched up 0.2 per cent.

The CBOE Volatility Index, better known as the VIX and the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, closed at 9.67, nearly a three-week low.

The benchmark 10-year note fell 5/32 in price to yield 2.3401 per cent.

U.S. light crude hit $58.92 a barrel, a more than two-year high, before easing to settle up 93 cents at $58.95.

Brent rose 31 cents to settle at $63.86.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled down $4.90 at $1,287.30 per ounce.

Reuters

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