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Canada’s main stock index was little changed at Friday’s opening bell with weakness in materials stocks offsetting gains in the energy sector. Wall Street also saw a fairly muted start as traders sift through the details of a better-than-forecast reading on U.S. hiring.

At 9:31 a.m. ET, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 17.24 points, or 0.09 per cent, at 20,295.75.

In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 32.56 points, or 0.09 per cent, at the open to 36,084.82.

The S&P 500 opened lower by 9.39 points, or 0.20 per cent, at 4,576.20, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 60.54 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 14,279.46 at the opening bell.

U.S. jobs numbers are key for markets on Friday.

New figures released early showed the U.S. economy generated 199,000 new jobs in November, compared with 150,000 in October. The November number was slightly ahead of the 180,000 positions economists had been forecasting. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 3.7 per cent from 3.9 per cent a month earlier. Average hourly earnings rose 4 per cent year-over-year, in line with market forecasts.

“This month’s positive job growth following October’s slower numbers is evidence that the jobs market continues to be resilient,” Stephen J. Rich, chairman and CEO of Mutual of America Capital Management, said in a note.

“While many believe that the Federal Reserve may be done raising interest rates, we believe interest rates will remain elevated through at least the first half of 2024. The elongated rate-hike cycle has not ruled out the possibility of a recession later next year.”

On the corporate side, U.S.-listed shares of Vancouver-based Lululemon shook of weakness seen in the premarket and were up more than 1 per cent in early trading on the Nasdaq even after the retailer forecast fourth-quarter results below expectations. The company expects fourth-quarter net revenue between US$3.14-billion and US$3.17-billion, below analysts’ average estimate of $3.18 billion, according to LSEG data, Reuters reported. Fourth-quarter profit is forecast to come in between US$4.85 and US$4.93 per share came in below expectations of US$4.94 per share. The forecast came alongside Lululemon’s latest quarterly earnings, which were released after Thursday’s close.

This morning, Canadian investors got results from CWB Financial Group. The Alberta-based financial institution reported net income of $76.8-million or 80 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Oct. 31, up from $67.7-million or 72 cents per diluted share a year earlier. CWB also raised its quarterly dividend by a penny to 34 cents a share.

Overseas, the pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.44 per cent by midday. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.34 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 added 0.29 per cent and 0.79 per cent, respectively.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei lost 1.68 per cent after the country’s third-quarter GDP was revised lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.07 per cent, reversing gains seen earlier in the session.


Crude prices were higher in early trading but still on track for another weekly loss as demand concerns continue to weigh on sentiment.

The day range on Brent was US$74.20 to US$76.13 in the early premarket period. The range on West Texas Intermediate was US$69.50 to US$71.29.

Both benchmarks touched their weakest levels since June during Thursday’s session and are down roughly 4 per cent for the week, which would mark the biggest weekly loss in four weeks.

Crude prices have been hit by concerns about the health of the global economy and worries about adherence to voluntary production cuts among OPEC+ members after a recent decision to continue output curbs.

On Thursday, OPEC+ members Saudi Arabia and Russia called on members to join the agreement to cut production.

“Prices rose on Friday following intervention calls from Russia and Saudi Arabia for OPEC+ members to adhere to agreed-upon production cuts,” Stephen Innes, managing partner of SPI Asset Management, said, noting both benchmarks gained more than 1 per cent each early in the session.

“This bounce came after a meeting between Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, emphasizing the ongoing efforts to stabilize global oil markets and manage production levels,” he said.

In other commodities, gold prices were steady but on track for their first weekly decline in four.

Spot gold edged up 0.1 per cent to US$2,030.32 per ounce by early Friday morning. Gold, which hit a record high of US$2,135.40 on Monday, was down about 2 per cent so far this week. U.S. gold futures were steady at US$2,047.10.


The Canadian dollar was firmer while its U.S. counterpart edged up against a group of world currencies.

The day range on the loonie was 73.51 US cents to 73.69 US cents in the early premarket period. The Canadian dollar was down about 0.62 per cent for the week against the U.S. dollar by early Friday morning.

The U.S. dollar index, which weighs the greenback against a basket of currencies was up 0.23 per cent at 103.78. The index has risen about 0.50 per cent over the past five days.

Elsewhere, the euro fell 0.2 per cent to US$1.07735, while Britain’s pound dropped 0.3 per cent to US$1.25605, set for a 1-per-cent weekly decline, according to figures from Reuters.

In bonds, the yield on the U.S. 10-year note was up at 4.176 per cent in the predawn period.

More company news

Canadian miner First Quantum’s unit in Panama said on Friday it had requested government authorization to lay off more than 4,000 of its employees. A court ruling last month prompted the Panamanian government to order the closure of First Quantum’s lucrative copper mine in the country. -Reuters

The Globe’s Stefanie Marotta reports the federal financial intelligence agency has fined Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce more than $1.3-million for failing to flag transactions linked to money laundering and terrorist financing. The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FinTRAC) said Thursday that CIBC committed two administrative violations. The fine is the second that the watchdog levied on a major bank this week as it ramps up enforcement of compliance issues ahead of a coming review of Canada’s anti-money-laundering practices.

U.S. industrial firm Honeywell said on Friday it would buy air conditioner maker Carrier’s security business for $4.95 billion. Shares of Carrier rose 4.4% to US$52.9 in premarket trade. The Florida-based company’s Access Solutions security business provides residential, commercial and industrial security systems including electronic locks and remote access management. -Reuters

Economic news

(8:30 a.m. ET) Canada’s capacity utilization for Q3.

(8:30 a.m. ET) U.S. employment for November.

(10 a.m. ET) U.S. University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for December.

With The Canadian Press and Reuters

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