Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday as higher gold prices boosted materials stocks and after tepid jobs data raised the odds that Bank of Canada will hold interest rates steady.
At 11:30 a.m. ET, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 70.93 points, or 0.44 per cent, to 16,030.43..
The materials sector was the biggest boost as gold was set for its first weekly gain in four weeks.
Pushing the financial group higher were shares of Toronto-Dominion Bank, up 0.9 per cent, and Sun Life Financial, which gained 1.8 per cent.
Economic data showed the Canadian economy unexpectedly shed jobs in April, bolstering bets that the Bank of Canada will hold interest rates steady when its policymakers meet later this month.
All of Canada’s 10 main index sectors were higher.
The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was SSR Mining Inc, which rose 8.4 per cent, after the company on Thursday reported quarterly results.
U.S. stocks moved mostly higher in morning trading Friday, adding to solid gains from a day earlier. Health care stocks and banks accounted for much of the market’s gains. Technology stocks and makers of packaged foods, beverages and other consumer goods lagged. Crude oil prices headed lower.
The S&P 500 index rose 4 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,727 as of 11:22 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 71 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 24,811. The Nasdaq fell 1 point to 7,403. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 5 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 1,609.
Biogen rose 2 per cent to $279.42 and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals added 4.3 per cent to $301.34 as investors waited for President Donald Trump to announce plans intended to control drug prices.
Yelp fell 8.3 per cent to $43.79 after the online review portal gave an outlook for its current quarter fell short of analysts’ expectations.
Symantec slumped 34.8 per cent to $19.03 after the security software company revealed an internal investigation that could delay its annual report. The company also said the matter has been referred to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Symantec also gave weak profit forecasts.
Oil futures were trading near their highest level since 2014 as President Donald Trump’s decision this week to re-impose sanctions Iran, the world’s fifth-biggest oil producer, reverberated. Benchmark U.S. crude oil slipped 7 cents to $71.29 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 3 cents to $77.44.
European stock indexes were mostly lower after a strong rally saw many indexes strike multi-week highs. Germany’s DAX fell 0.1 per cent and France’s CAC 40 slid 0.1 per cent. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.3 per cent. Earlier in Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.2 per cent and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.6 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.0 per cent.
Reuters and The Associated Press