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TSX Goes into Weekend with Gains

Baystreet.ca
Canada's main stock index was higher on Friday as a drop in full-time jobs and slower wage growth in ...

Canada's main stock index was higher on Friday as a drop in full-time jobs and slower wage growth in February offset gains in oil and gold prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index retained gains of 39.11 points to close the day and the week at 15,577.81

The Canadian dollar strengthened 0.49 cents to 78.02 cents U.S.

Among mining companies, Ivanhoe Mines rocketed 17 cents, or 5.7%, to $3.15, while First Quantum Minerals obtained 35 cents, or 1.8%, to $20.21.

Bombardier took on a penny to $3.75, while Air Canada collected four cents to $27.07.

Consumer staples were also in the green, if barely, as Loblaw Companies gained 41 cents to $66.45.

Gold companies did not fare so well, with Tahoe Resources down 11 cents, or 1.8%, to $5.99, while Yamana Gold shed 21 cents, or 5.8%, to $3.36.

Among mining companies, Ivanhoe Mines rocketed 17 cents, or 5.7%, to $3.15, while First Quantum Minerals obtained 35 cents, or 1.8%, to $20.21.

Copper futures advanced nearly 1% to $6,901.50 U.S. a tonne

Health-care stocks faded Friday, as Canopy Growth retreated 83 cents, or 2.6%, to $30.98, while MedReleaf gave back 67 cents, or 3.5%, to $18.63.

Among telecoms, BCE backtracked nine cents to $56.86, while Rogers Communications lost 64 cents, or 1.1%, to $58.51.

Canada on Thursday hailed the news it would not immediately be subject to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum while promising to continue lobbying Washington until the threat of duties had disappeared.

Statistics Canada reported that the Canadian economy created only 15,000 jobs during February, but enough to lower the unemployment rate by 0.1% to 5.8%. Canadian employment growth was expected to have gained 20,000 jobs in February after losing 88,000 jobs in the month before.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange was down 0.57 points to finish Friday at 828.90

The 12 TSX subgroups were evenly divided, with consumer staples, industrials and materials each ahead 0.3%.

The half-dozen laggards were weighed most by gold, off 0.9%, health-care, down 0.7%, and telecoms, sliding 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks traded higher on Friday after the release of stronger-than-expected employment data.

The Dow Jones Industrials skyrocketed 440.53 points, or 1.8%, to 25,335.74, with Goldman Sachs among the biggest contributors of gains to the index. The 30-stock index also closed above its 50-day moving average, a key technical level.

The S&P 500 gained 47.6 points, or 1.7%, to 2,786.57, with financials as the best-performing sector. It also closed above its 50-day moving average.

Friday also marked the ninth anniversary of the bull market. On March 9, 2009, the S&P 500 closed at 676.53. Since then, the S&P 500 is up around 300%.

The NASDAQ composite Index popped 132.86 points, or 1.8%, to 7,560.81, and hit an all-time high, erasing the losses from last month's correction. Shares of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google all rose to help the indexes rise.

In corporate news, Goldman Sachs closed 1.7% higher after a report said CEO Lloyd Blankfein is preparing to leave the company by year-end.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told Reuters the company has "plenty of cash horsepower" to make acquisitions, such as the proposed tie-up with Brazil's Embraer. Boeing shares rose 1.7% on Friday.

Shares of Mattel fell 7.1% amid news Toys R Us may liquidate its U.S. operations. Mattel is a Toys R Us debt holder.

President Donald Trump signed two declarations on Thursday, which would implement tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The tariffs are expected to take effect in 15 days and will put a 25% charge on steel, and 10% on aluminum. Canada and Mexico, however, are exempt.

The U.S. economy added 313,000 jobs in February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists had expected a mere gain of 200,000.

Wages, meanwhile, grew less than expected, rising 2.6% on an annualized basis. Stronger-than-expected wage growth helped spark a market correction in the previous month.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sagged, raising yields to 2.89% from Thursday’s 2.86%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices added $1.92 a barrel to $62.04 U.S.

Gold prices added two dollars to $1,323.70 U.S. an ounce.