(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index edged higher on Friday as financial stocks gained after a strong domestic jobs data cemented expectations of fourth interest rate hike of the year next week.
* At 10:16 a.m. ET (14:16 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 20.57 points, or 0.13 percent, at 16,287.18.
* Latest data showed Canadian economy added 31,800 jobs in June, while a Reuters poll predicted an increase of 24,000 positions, cementing expectations the Bank of Canada will raise interest rates next week.
* Another report showed the country’s trade deficit grew on a sharp rise in imports of airlines and gasoline.
* Eight of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher, led by 0.2 percent gain in the heavyweight financials sector.
* Brookfield Asset Management’s 1.1 pct rise and nearly 0.2 percent increase in shares of Bank of Montreal and Bank of Nova Scotia helped the financial index the most.
* Also supporting the market was the telecoms sector , which gained 0.67 percent. BCE Inc and Rogers Communications were the biggest boost to the sector.
* The energy sector climbed 0.2 percent. U.S. crude prices were up 0.5 percent a barrel, while Brent crude lost 0.6 percent.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.2 percent as gold futures fell 0.2 percent to $1,254.4 an ounce, while copper prices declined 1.1 percent to $6,275.5 a tonne. 25.55
* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Transcontinental Inc, which jumped 3.2 percent and Cogeco Communications, which rose 3 percent after National Bank of Canada upgraded the stock to “outperform”.
* Centerra Gold fell 3.8 percent, the most on the TSX, while the second biggest decliner was Enerflex, down 2.5 percent.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis, Bombardier B, and Canopy Growth Co .
* On the TSX, 130 issues were higher, while 104 issues declined for a 1.25-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 20.06 million shares traded.
* The TSX posted seven new 52-week highs and five new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues there were thirteen new 52-week highs and nine new lows, with total volume of 39.52 million shares. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)