TSX closes positive for first time this week
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, August 3, 2012 12:28PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 3, 2012 5:41PM EDT
TORONTO -- The Toronto stock market closed higher on Friday for the first time this week as commodities rallied on the back of a strong increase in U.S. jobs last month.
The S&P/TSX composite index ended the session up 156.09 points to 11,662.59 and the TSX Venture Exchange added 13.32 points to 1,186.95. The TSX is down 0.88 per cent since last Friday. It will be closed Monday for the Civic Holiday.
The Canadian dollar ended the session up 0.52 of a cent at 99.81 cents US after flirting with parity throughout the day.
The U.S. economy generated 163,000 jobs last month, better than the 100,000 gain that was projected. But the unemployment rate rose to 8.3 per cent, up 0.1 per cent.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average increased 217.29 points to 13,096.17 and the broader S&P was up 25.99 points to 1,390.99. The Nasdaq gained 58.13 points at 2,967.90.
Stock markets had been slumping all week after central banks in the U.S. and Europe opted not to take any new action to shore up the economy, as many investors had hoped.
The TSX energy sector led gains, up 2.5 per cent, as the September crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $4.27 to US$91.40 a barrel.
The metals and mining index was also ahead, up 2.1 per cent, as September copper increased 7.7 cents to US$3.37 a pound. August gold was up $18.60 to close the session at US$1,609.30 an ounce.
In corporate developments, Telus Corp. (TSX:T) reported second-quarter profits of $328 million, up 1.2 per cent from the same time last year, while earnings per share rose to $1.01 from 99 cents. Revenue at the company increased four per cent to $2.7 billion. Its stock lifted 78 cents to $63.17.
Fertilizer producer Agrium Inc. (TSX:AGU) says profits jumped 20 per cent in the second quarter as demand for its crop inputs business remained strong. The Calgary-based company reported net earnings of US$860 million or $5.44 per share for the quarter ended June 30, compared to net earnings of $718 million or $4.54 per share a year earlier. Revenue increased 10 per cent to $6.8 billion. Shares were up 71 cents to $95.30.
Investment dealer GMP Capital Inc. (TSX:GMP) posted a second-quarter loss of $4.1 million as its revenue declined seven per cent to $67.7 million due to investor caution in the current economic environment. Shares increased eight cents to $4.83.
Power Financial Corp. (TSX:PWF) reported Friday a drop in its second-quarter profits to $433 million or 61 cents per diluted share for the quarter, compared with a profit of $507 million, or 71 cents per diluted share, a year ago. Its shares were up 32 cents to $24.88.
The federal government has set a deadline of Dec. 31, 2013 for the environmental assessment and report on Enbridge's (TSX:ENB) controversial Northern Gateway pipeline project. A statement from the company released Friday defended its safety record and said it has the largest and most complex liquids pipeline system in the world. Shares in Enbridge dropped four cents to $39.86.
European markets were higher on Friday, picking up some of the declines from the prior session, when the European Central Bank failed to deliver on its assurances it would do "whatever it takes" to help the region out of its debt crisis.