CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat as TD, US consumer woes limit jobs lift

Fri Dec 7, 2012 1:16pm EST

* TSX up 6.74 points at 12,158.87
    * Enbridge up 2.2 pct after proposing pipeline expansion

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged
higher on Friday as economically sensitive resource shares rose
on data that showed strong jobs growth in the United States and
Canada but the advance was limited by another day of losses for
Toronto-Dominion Bank and by a bearish U.S. consumer report.
    TD Bank fell for a second straight day after issuing
quarterly results on Thursday that disappointed the market,
while a bruising survey on the outlook of U.S. consumers heading
into the Christmas season also weighed. 
    By midday, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite
index was up 6.74 points at 12,158.87 after bobbing on
both sides of the break-even line.
    In Canada, data showed a higher-than-expected 59,300 jobs
were added in November, with the bulk of hiring coming in
full-time positions and in the private sector. 
    In the United States, Canada's main trading partner, a
bumper 146,000 jobs were created last month, though a drop in
the unemployment rate suggested some people gave up the search
for work and data for earlier months was revised lower.
 
    "The picture does look somewhat supportive and constructive
but at the same time when you dig in there it's not as rosy as
it appears," said Sid Mokhtari, a market technician at CIBC
World Markets.
    TD fell 1.4 percent to C$79.99, after dropping 1.8 percent
on Thursday. Bank of Nova Scotia 
reported quarterly results on Friday, the last of Canada's big
banks to do so. It posted a 31 percent profit increase but its
shares were down 3 Canadian cents at C$55.53. 
    "The results have been good," Mokhtari said of the banks.
"Generally speaking a rule of thumb is that you anticipate the
results and position for them and when the news comes people
tend to take profit."
    The jobs data pointed to a slow but steady recovery and
offered hope for a stronger end to the year and start to 2013.
    "It's not lights out but it is supportive of stronger market
performance over time," said Craig Fehr, Canadian market
strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri.
    "That being said, it would be naive to assume that the
fiscal cliff drama isn't going to continue to be the primary,
very short-term, market driver." 
    Global markets have in recent weeks been buffeted by concern
over setbacks in negotiations to fix the U.S. "fiscal cliff"
budget crisis, which, if not resolved, could push the country
back into recession.   
    Companies most attuned to economic signals, including miners
and energy companies, saw the biggest gains on Friday. Barrick
Gold Corp was up 1 percent at C$33.44, and Goldcorp Inc
 rose 0.9 percent to C$36.79 as bullion prices rebounded.
 
    Pipeline operator Enbridge Inc gained 2.9 percent
to C$41.13 after proposing a C$6.2 billion expansion of its oil
pipeline system, aimed at moving surging volumes of light crude
from Western Canada and the North Dakota Bakken to refineries in
the eastern part of the continent and U.S. Midwest.
 
    Crescent Point Energy Corp, which produces shale
light oil in that region and would benefit from improved access
to markets, gained 2.2 percent to C$36.98.  
    Glencore International Plc received approval from
China's Ministry of Commerce for its C$6.1 billion acquisition
of Canadian grain handler Viterra Inc, clearing the
final regulatory hurdle for the long-delayed deal.
 
    Investors are watching for progress on two other
acquisitions of Canadian resource companies as a deadline
approaches for Ottawa to either approve or reject bids from
China's CNOOC Ltd for Nexen Inc and
Malaysia's Petronas for Progress Energy Resources Corp.
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