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TSX Finds Strength at Daily Close, Venture Down on Week

Stocks remained volatile in Canada’s biggest market, but fought their way to positive reading Thursday, on the strength of health-care and real-estate concerns.

The TSX gained 37.14 points, to end Thursday at 20,196.69. On the week, the jump was nearly 97 points, or nearly 0.5%.

The Canadian dollar dipped 0.18 cents to 74.14 cents U.S.

Health stocks led the charge, with Tilray rumbling 22 cents, or 6.7%, to $3.50, while Bellus Health collected 53 cents, or 6.1%, to $9.21.

In real-estate Tricon Capital marched 32 cents, or 3.1%, to $10.81, while units of Allied Properties REIT gained 53 cents, or 2.5%, to $23.11.

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Utilities also were in the green, with Northland Power up 42 cents, or 1.3%, to $34.07, while Algonquin Power & Utilities 13 cents above breakeven, or 1.1%, to $11.60.

Energy finished off a volatile week on the downside, however, Precision Drilling sliding $2.85, or 4%, to $68.08, while Cenovus Energy faltered 75 cents, or 3%, to $23.97.

In the communications field, Rogers dipped 53 cents to $64.01, while BCE fell 43 cents to $62.76.

Materials were also bruised, with Ivanhoe Mines down 42 cents, or 3.3%, to $11.84, while K92 Mining lost 17 cents, or 2.2%, to $7.55.

According to Statistics Canada, the economy created 35,000 jobs in March, and the unemployment rate held steady at 5.0%, and the unemployment rate held steady at 5.0%.

Also, the IVEY PMI for March sprang to 58.2 in March, from February's 51.6, and much lower than the 63.0 level in March 2022.

Friday is, of course, Good Friday, and the markets will be closed.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange forged ahead 3.07 points to 625.85, but the weekly loss proved to be 8.6 points, or 1.35%.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher Thursday, with health-care racing 2.4%, real-estate better by 0.6%, and utilities up 0.5%.

The three laggards were energy, down 0.8%, communications lagging 0.5%, and materials, off 0.3%.

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ON WALLSTREET

Tech stocks lifted the S&P 500 into the green Thursday as the market attempted to wrap up the short trading week on a high note.

The Dow Jones Industrials, after most of the day in negative territory, squeezed out gains of 2.63 points to 33,485.35.

The S&P 500 moved ahead 14.61 points to 4,104.99.

The NASDAQ jumped 91.1 points to 12,087.96.

The S&P 500 is still down 0.1% this week, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ has fallen 1.1%. The 30-stock Dow is up 0.6%.

The latest weekly jobless claims came in higher than expected, adding to recent signals that pointed to slowing job growth. The expansion in private payrolls was well below expectations in March, ADP said earlier this week. Meanwhile, the number of available positions fell below 10 million in February — a first in almost two years. Job cuts have also soared by nearly fivefold so far this year from a year ago.

Over the past several months, investors had cheered signs of economic cooling on the hope that it could push the Federal Reserve to change course on its interest rate hiking campaign. But they are now wondering if the central bank has gone too far in its bid to cool inflation, tightening the economy to the point of a recession.

Thursday will cap off a shortened trading week with the market closed for Good Friday. Investors will still closely monitor March jobs report Friday morning. Non-farm payrolls has been showing solid growth despite layoffs across tech and financial sectors, but many believe the trend is poised to reverse soon.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury strengthened, lowering yields to 3.30% from Wednesday 3.31%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped five cents to $80.56 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices declined $12.60 to $2,023.00 U.S. an ounce.