CANADA STOCKS-TSX advances after jobs data; gold miners gain

Fri Apr 4, 2014 10:59am EDT

* TSX rises 42.69 points, or 0.30 percent, to 14,444.90
    * Eight of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * Air Canada jumps after earnings forecast

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, April 4 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
climbed on Friday after data indicating a steady pace of hiring
in Canada and the United States lifted market sentiment and
drove gains in most major sectors.
    The Canadian economy created twice as many jobs as expected
in March and the unemployment rate dropped for the first time
this year, a government report showed. 
    South of the border, U.S. employers maintained a solid pace
of hiring for a second straight month in March, adding 192,000
jobs, after a long winter had clouded recent reports.
 
    But the U.S. numbers missed market expectations, raising
doubts among some investors about the health of the economy.
    Those doubts boosted bullion, which is seen a safe-haven bet
in tough economic times, and sent gold-mining shares higher.
    "The recovery worldwide and in the United States remains
muted at best, notwithstanding the fact that trillions (of
dollars) have been printed for so little effect," said John Ing,
president of Maison Placements Canada.
    "The volatile market seems to be a classic hedge (for
bullion)," he added. "Geopolitical tensions remain, so the
environment that could push gold up is still very much in
place."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 42.69 points, or 0.30 percent, at 14,444.90. It
has gained in five of the last six sessions and is up about 6
percent in 2014.
    "Resources will help out the TSX (this year), but I expect a
much higher interest rate environment in the fall, which will be
negative for the markets," Ing said.
    Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on
Friday.
    Gold-mining shares jumped 1.7 percent. Barrick Gold Corp
 advanced 2 percent to C$20.64, and Goldcorp Inc 
rose 1.6 percent to C$27.56.
    Oil prices also climbed, helping drive up the energy sector.
Suncor Energy Inc was up 0.9 percent at C$39.58, and
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd gained 0.7 percent to
C$43.87.
    In corporate news, Air Canada forecast higher
first-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation,
amortization and impairment, and aircraft rent (EBITDAR) due to
system-wide traffic growth and increased capacity. The stock
shot up 23.1 percent to C$7.09. 
    ($1=$1.10 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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