CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs as golds offset sluggish U.S. jobs data

Fri Aug 2, 2013 11:35am EDT

* TSX rises 24.75 points, or 0.20 percent, to 12,618.71
    * Six of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * SNC Lavalin drops 5 percent after results
    * Turquoise Hill jumps more than 12 percent

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index gained
on Friday as disappointment following a weaker U.S. jobs report
was overshadowed by a jump in gold miners after the price of
bullion climbed.
    Also putting downward pressure on the index was a 5 percent
decline in shares of SNC Lavalin Group Ltd after the
engineering and construction company reported a quarterly net
loss and lowered its financial forecasts for the year, hit by
charges taken on projects in North Africa. 
    But Toronto stocks benefited from a strong rebound in the
price of bullion, pushing gold miners higher, as the U.S. jobs
report prompted investors to boost their bets that the U.S.
Federal Reserve will not begin a pullback of its stimulus
program anytime soon. 
    The jobs report showed the pace of hiring by U.S. employers
slowed in July but that the jobless rate fell, offering
conflicting signals that could make the Fed cautious about
dialing back its bond-buying program. 
    "It shows a mixed data environment," said Stephen Wood,
chief market strategist, North America, at Russell Investments,
which manages about $237 billion in assets. 
    "The jobs data for the markets is not as strong as they
would have liked and another confirmation that growth is
positive but not strong."
    Wood said an emerging theme shows "a growing U.S. economy,
which is increasingly self-sufficient but not completely
self-sufficient." 
     While recent softness in the resource sectors makes it
challenging to manage Canadian equity portfolios, the country
will benefit from the increasingly brighter outlook for the U.S.
economy, he said. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 24.75 points, or 0.20 percent, at 12,618.71.
The index, which has lagged its U.S. counterparts this year,
outperformed the S&P 500 on Friday. 
    Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, rose 0.9
percent. Gold miners were up 1.4 percent with Barrick Gold Corp
 adding 2.2 percent to C$17.85, and Goldcorp Inc 
up almost 1 percent at C$28.67.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, gained
0.5 percent. Royal Bank of Canada, the country's biggest
lender, advanced 0.9 percent to C$64.49, and Toronto-Dominion
Bank rose 0.7 percent to C$87.37.
    Shares of Turquoise Hill, controlled by Rio Tinto
, shot up 12.6 percent to C$5.18. Mongolia's prime
minister said Rio Tinto need not seek parliamentary approval for
a $4 billion financing package to fund development of an
underground mine at the Oyu Tolgoi copper project in Mongolia,
which is majority owned by Turquoise Hill.
FILED UNDER: