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