TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday, helped by gains in some major banks and energy companies and by a jump in shares of auto parts maker Magna International Inc, which reported strong European and North American demand.
Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO, which had fallen a day earlier after its debt was downgraded by Moody's, rebounded 2.3 percent to C$27.39.
While stubbornly low prices for crude and other petroleum products have hurt Canada’s heavyweight energy sector, it also offers stimulative opportunities for the rest of the economy, said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments.
“It’s cheaper to make things, cheaper to drive your car, you know?” he said. “More consumers have more spending power and so on and so forth.”
The consumer groups were higher on the day, with discretionary names gaining 2 percent and staples up 1 percent.
Magna shares jumped 7.3 percent to C$51.62 after reporting a much higher-than-expected quarterly profit as low gasoline prices boosted demand for vehicles in Europe and North America.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed the session up 44.19 points, or 0.35 percent, at 12,797.79. It was barely lower on the week.
Six of the index’s 10 main groups were in positive territory, with gainers outnumbering decliners by more than 2-to-1.
Magna MG.TO rose 7.3 percent to C$51.62, as it reported quarterly sales growth, excluding a roughly $770 million hit from a strong U.S. dollar.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1.6 percent.
Goldcorp Inc G.TO slumped 13 percent to C$18.73 after the world's largest gold producer by market value forecast 2016 gold production of 2.8 to 3.1 million ounces, lower than its 2015 output, and reduced its dividend after the bell on Thursday.
The financials group gained 0.8 percent while industrials rose 0.2 percent and technology stocks added 0.6 percent.
Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Andrea Ricci and James Dalgleish
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