CANADA STOCKS-TSX posts biggest jump in 7 weeks; Canada, U.S. jobs data eyed

Thu Feb 6, 2014 4:57pm EST

* TSX rises 153.71 points, or 1.13 percent, at 13,713.40
    * Nine of 10 main index sectors advance
    * CN Rail up after union deal
    * Canaccord, BCE climb after quarterly reports

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
recorded its biggest one-day jump in seven weeks on Thursday as
higher oil prices helped lift energy shares and upbeat U.S.
economic data sounded a positive note ahead of Friday's nonfarm
payrolls report.
    Strong earnings performances from BCE Inc and
Canaccord Genuity provided further support and boosted
shares of the two companies.
    The market appeared to show signs of stabilizing after
several days of choppy trading due to concerns about emerging
markets and worries about global growth. 
    A report showed that the number of Americans filing new
claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last
week, following a wave of mixed economic data that had increased
investor doubts about the U.S. economic recovery.
 
    "We're seeing a little more optimism today than we've seen
in the last couple of weeks," said Youssef Zohny, a portfolio
manager at Stenner Investment Partners, a multifamily office
within Richardson GMP.
    "The markets are taking a wait-and-see approach ahead of the
jobs number tomorrow," he added. "The headline will be less
important than the reaction."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 153.71 points, or 1.13 percent, at
13,713.40. The benchmark Canadian index also moved back to
positive territory for the year.
    "The TSX is holding up pretty well and some of the commodity
sectors are leading to some outperformance," Zohny said.
    Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on
Thursday.
    The energy sector jumped 1.6 percent. Suncor Energy Inc
 shares added 1.7 percent to C$35.79, and Canadian
Natural Resources Ltd rose 0.7 percent to C$37.91.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, were
up 1.4 percent. Royal Bank of Canada advanced 1.3
percent to C$69.98.
    In corporate news, Canadian National Railway Co 
reached a deal late on Wednesday to avert a strike by conductors
and yard workers after the Conservative government said it would
use back-to-work legislation to keep the railway operating. CN
Rail shares gained 1.1 percent to end at C$60.06.
 
    BCE shares rose 2.1 percent, to C$46.30, after the company
posted a 17 percent rise in adjusted quarterly profit and raised
its dividend. 
    Canaccord Genuity shares shot up 13.4 percent to C$7.79, a
day after the investment dealer reported a 78 percent rise in
quarterly profit. 
    Canada's employment data, due at 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT) on
Friday, could set the tone for markets, with hiring expected to
pick up after the economy unexpectedly shed jobs in December
.
    U.S. employment data, due to be released at the same time on
Friday, is forecast to show jobs growth also
accelerated last month.
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A tourist takes a plunge as she swims at Ngapali Beach, a popular tourist site, in the Thandwe township of the Rakhine state, October 6, 2013. Picture taken October 6, 2013. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun (MYANMAR - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR3FOI0

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