* TSX rises 68.29 points, or 0.54 percent, to 12,753.53
* Eight of 10 main sectors advance
* Imperial Oil shares rise after earnings report
By John Tilak
TORONTO, Feb 1 Canada's main stock index climbed
on Friday, led by energy and materials stocks, which benefited
from rising commodity prices after U.S. jobs data pointed to
modest economic growth.
U.S. employment grew in January and gains in the prior two
months were bigger than initially reported, supporting views the
economy's sluggish recovery was on track despite a surprise
contraction in output in the final three months of 2012.
"There is some vitality to underlying economic trends. We
seem to be getting back on track," said Fred Ketchen, director
of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod. "The employment reports have
not been blockbusters, but they are better than some estimates."
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
was up 68.29 points, or 0.54 percent, at 12,753.53.
Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were trading higher.
Energy shares rose 0.6 percent and played the biggest role
of any single sector leading the market up, tracking higher oil
Brent crude oil climbed above $116 to hit a four-month high
after a suicide bombing attack on the U.S. embassy in Ankara
increased the focus on tension across the region.
Imperial Oil Ltd reported a 7 percent rise in
fourth-quarter profit and said its final cost of initial
development of the Kearl oilsands project in Alberta is expected
to be C$2 billion ($2.00 billion) more than earlier projections,
due to transportation delays and harsh weather. Shares of the
oil company gained 0.9 percent to C$44.18.
The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, added
0.9 percent. Gold prices were up 0.3 percent, and silver prices
gained 1.7 percent.
Miner Silver Wheaton Corp rose 2.5 percent to
Financials, the index's weightiest sector, were up 0.5