Solid U.S. jobs data lifts TSX, but loonie falls after Canadian jobs data
Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, March 7, 2014 7:23AM EST
Last Updated Friday, March 7, 2014 10:50AM EST
TORONTO -- The Toronto stock market was higher Friday as job creation data in the U.S. came in well above expectations.
The S&P/TSX composite index gained 44 points to 14,315.92, off the best levels of the morning amid sharp price drops for gold and copper.
The Canadian dollar tumbled 0.79 of a cent to 90.19 cents US while other data showed Canadian employment figures registered a big miss, with the economy shedding 7,000 jobs last month against the gain of 15,000 that economists had expected.
The Canadian unemployment rate was unchanged at seven per cent.
New York was mixed even as the U.S. Labor Department reported that the American economy created 175,000 jobs last month, well above expectations for 139,000 job gains. The unemployment rate rose to 6.7 per cent from 6.6 per cent.
The Dow industrials ran up 73.15 points to 16,495.04, the Nasdaq dropped 7.69 points to 4,344.43 and the S&P 500 index was ahead 3.82 points to 1,880.85.
The tech sector led advancers, up 1.55 per cent, paced by an eight per cent gain in Constellation Software (TSX:CSU).
The energy component climbed one per cent while the April crude contract in New York was 92 cents higher to US$102.48 a barrel.
Penn West Petroleum Ltd. (TSX:PWT) had a quarterly net loss of $728 million or $1.49 a share compared with a year-earlier net loss of $78 million or 16 cents per share. The most recent loss was mostly due to non-cash asset impairment charges related to the company's disposal of natural gas assets. Penn West shares advanced 24 cents to $8.94.
The National Energy Board has given the go-ahead to Enbridge's plan to reverse the flow and increase the capacity of its Line 9 pipeline that runs between Sarnia, Ont., and Montreal. The approval is subject to a number of conditions, which include Enbridge (TSX:ENB) being required to undertake activities involving pipeline integrity and emergency response and its shares rose 19 cents to $48.73.
The metals and mining sector led decliners, down 1.4 per cent as May copper tumbled 11 cents to US$3.10 a pound amid worries about Chinese growth.
The gold sector fell 1.3 per cent while April bullion fell $16.40 to US$1,335.40 an ounce.
Air Canada (TSX:AC.B) says its system load factor for February decreased to 79 per cent compared with 79.8 per cent a year ago as it added capacity faster than traffic grew. Its shares added 11 cents to $6.59.
And WestJet Airlines (TSX:WJA) is cutting its revenue expectations due to softer domestic demand and a larger than expected impact from the Easter and Passover holidays. The airline expects revenue per available seat mile for the first quarter to be flat to down slightly year over year, compared with earlier expectations of it to be flat or up slightly. Westjet gained 10 cents to 425.60.
Markets seemed unperturbed about the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
The week start started off with a selloff on markets after Russian troops last weekend invaded Ukraine's Crimea region, where it has major military installations and many people are Russian speaking. But markets regained their footing by the following day as it became apparent that Western countries weren't planning on an armed response to that incursion.
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