The Toronto stock market was positive Friday amid rising metal prices and a lower-than-expected reading on Canadian inflation.
The S&P/TSX Composite index picked up a solid 57.31 points to close the day and week at 12,089.89
The Canadian dollar was lower by a quarter of a cent to 101.10 cents U.S.
Traders were encouraged by a solid reading on American housing starts and hopes that central bankers are prepared to do whatever is necessary to keep the economic recovery on track and preserve the European monetary union.
This was also the case Friday when traders reacted favourably to remarks by German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her visit to Ottawa. She said Thursday that her country — which has Europe's biggest economy — is committed to doing everything it can to maintain the euro currency union.
The base metals sector gained as copper added to Thursday's three-cent advance, up another four cents to $3.42 U.S. a pound.
Prices for the metal, viewed as an economic bellwether as it is used in so many industries, gave up ground earlier this week in the wake of weak Chinese export growth data and much lower than expected Japanese economic growth in the second quarter.
First Quantum Minerals climbed nine cents to $19.76 while Teck Resources settled one cent to $29.38.
The energy sector gained as Suncor Energy was ahead 34 cents to $32.40.
Financials were also positive with TD Bank ahead 75 cents to $81.23.
The gold sector slipped while Goldcorp Inc. rose 19 cents to $38.12.
On the economic beat, Statistics Canada revealed this morning that consumer prices rose 1.3% in the 12 months to July, following a 1.5% increase in June. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI declined 0.1% in July, after decreasing 0.2% in June.
The TSX Venture Exchange gained 12.17 points to 1,233.42. The Nasdaq Canada advanced 1.86 points to 351.13.
In all, 10 of the 14 Toronto subgroups remained positive through Friday. Health-care stocks were 1.3% haler, while industrials were ahead 0.8%, and metals and mining stocks advanced 0.7%.
The four laggards were weighed by gold, down 0.4%, while consumer staples slid 0.3%, and global base metals dipped 0.2%
U.S. stocks drifted higher Friday as investors look to close the books on a quiet trading week.
The Dow Jones industrial average finished higher on the day by 25.09 points to 13,275.20.
Caterpillar was the top gainer on the Dow, rising more than 1% after striking workers reportedly agreed to a new contract. Drug makers Merck and Pfizer were the main drags on the index.
The S&P 500 nipped up 2.98 points to 1,418.49. The Nasdaq added 14.20 points to 3,076.59.
Apple stock rose to a fresh all-time high, climbing above $644 U.S. a share.
Gap reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings late Thursday. The retailer also raised its outlook for full-year earnings and increased its dividend payment. Shares rose 5%.
Shares of J.M. Smucker rose 5% after it reported earnings that topped analysts' expectations and issued an upbeat outlook.
Footlocker reported upbeat second-quarter results, sending its shares up 2%.
Facebook shares fell to another all-time intraday low, adding to Thursday's sharp decline, as the social media company's "lock-up period" for company insiders expired.
Shares of Groupon fell to another all-time low after the company reported on Monday sales growth that disappointed investors.
On the economic slate, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 73.6 in early August from 72.3 last month. The preliminary reading was expected to come in at 72.2.
Separately, the Conference Board said its index of leading economic indicators for July rose 0.4% to 95.8. It was expected to have increased by 0.2%.
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury crept up, pushing the yield down to 1.82% from Thursday's 1.84%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil for September delivery gained 58 cents to $96.18 U.S. a barrel.
Gold futures for December rose two dollars to $1,619.40 U.S. an ounce.