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Resource shares lift Toronto market ahead of jobs reports

A Toronto Stock Exchange sign adorns a doorway at the Exchange Tower building in Toronto

By Fergal Smith

(Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Thursday, led by gains commodity-linked shares, as long-term borrowing held near their lowest levels in months ahead of the release of U.S. and Canadian employment reports.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 84.08 points, or 0.4%, at 22,229.10.

Data due on Friday is expected to show Canada's economy adding 22,500 jobs in May and the unemployment rate ticking up to 6.2% from 6.1%. U.S. jobs data for May is also due, expected to show an increase of 185,000.

Weaker-than-expected U.S. data could see U.S. bond yields extend their recent move lower, said Mike Archibald, a portfolio manager at AGF Investments.

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"If that's the case then that likely means the (U.S.) dollar is moving lower and commodities would do ok in that environment," Archibald said.

Bond yields have moved lower in recent weeks as investors raised bets on the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates as soon as September. The U.S. 10-year rate was trading on Thursday at about 4.28%, nearly its lowest level since April 1.

The Bank of Canada on Wednesday became the first G7 central bank to ease rates. Next in line was the European Central Bank, which cut on Thursday.

The materials group, which includes metal miners and fertilizer companies, rose 2.5% as gold and copper prices climbed.

The energy sector, which had weighed on the TSX earlier this week, added 1% as the price of oil settled 2% higher at $75.55 a barrel.

Among the sectors that lost ground was technology. It was down 0.4% along with declines for U.S. tech shares.

Heavily-weighted financials also ended lower, falling 0.3%.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto and Shubham Batra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shreya Biswas)