CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as data boosts sentiment; energy leads

Fri Jan 4, 2013 5:32pm EST

* TSX up 70.37 points, or 0.56 percent at 12,540.81
    * Energy up 1.07 pct, financials rise 0.5 pct
    * Canadian economy create 39,800 jobs, defying expectations

    By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
finished broadly higher on Friday, with energy companies leading
the gains, as encouraging North American economic data bolstered
investor sentiment.
    Energy stocks, which make up about 25 percent of the index
were up 1.07 percent. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd 
was the most positive stock on the TSX, adding 2.06 percent to
C$30.15. Encana Corp was also a key gainer, rising 2.75
percent to C$20.16.
    North American stock markets rose after U.S. reports showed
employers there kept up a steady pace of hiring workers, even
though the unemployment rate crept up, and the vast services
sector expanded at a brisk rate. 
    "It shows that perhaps we've got stability in the U.S. labor
market. It's not great, but it continues to show improvement and
that again bodes well for prospects through 2013," said Philip
Petursson, a managing director at Manulife Asset Management's
portfolio advisory group.
    Canada's economy defied expectations to create 39,800 jobs
in December, surpassing even the most bullish prediction in a
Reuters poll. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 finished 70.37 points higher, or up 0.56 percent at
12,540.81. All 10 of the TSX's main groups ended in positive
territory and the index as a whole was up about 1.8 percent for
the week.
    "I still think there's a lot of people away. You're probably
not going to get a good feel of the market until next week,"
said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities.    
    The heavyweight financial group climbed 0.5 percent, with
Royal Bank of Canada gaining 0.51 percent to C$61.07.
    The overall materials group recouped early losses and
finished the session up 0.52 percent. Potash Corp's led
mining gains with a 1.33 percent rise to C$41.03.
    In corporate news, Lululemon Athletica shares fell
4.55 percent to C$70.88 after an influential analyst cut his
rating on the popular yoga wear retailer's stock, citing rising
competition and heavy discounting. 
    Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc said it
was aiming to double or quadruple its revenue, but left its
fourth-quarter revenue and earnings guidance unchanged. Shares
fell 1.61 percent to C$59.40 and was the second most negative
influence on the TSX.
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