Positive Readings Greet Noon

Telecoms, Techs Lead Pack

Stock markets in Canada’s largest centre 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.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 46.79 points to venture toward noon hour at 16,313.40

The Canadian dollar gained 0.3 cents at 76.44 cents U.S.

Financials shone, as Brookfield Asset Management rose 52 cents, or 1%, to $53.99, while shares of Bank of Montreal increased 41 cents to $102.10 and Bank of Nova Scotia picked up 15 cents to $75.05

Also supporting the market was the telecoms sector, in which BCE Inc and Rogers Communications were the biggest boosts. BCE galloped 75 cents, or 1.4%, to $54.40. Rogers shares popped $1.09, or 1.7%, to $64.01.

The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost ground as copper prices declined 1.1% to $6,275.5 a tonne.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Transcontinental Inc, which jumped $1.53, or 5.1% to $31.66, and Cogeco Communications, which rose $2.20, or 3.4%, to $66.22, after National Bank of Canada upgraded the stock to “outperform”.

Centerra Gold fell 29 cents, or 4.2%, the most on the TSX, to $6.55

On the economic scene, Statistics Canada says the economy created 32,000 jobs in June, after two consecutive months of little change.

However, with more people searching for work, the unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 6.0%.

Canada’s merchandise trade deficit with the world totaled $2.8 billion in May, widening from a $1.9-billion deficit in April. Imports rose 1.7% while exports edged down 0.1%.

Western University’s IVEY School of Business reported Friday its Purchasing Managers Index came in for June at 63.1, up from May’s reading of 62.5, and a 61.6 level for June 2017.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange lost 1.79 points to 740.12

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher midday, as telecoms sprang to life 1.3%, information technology spiked 0.7%, and energy gushed 0.5%

The three laggards were health-care and gold, each down 0.5%, and industrials, off 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks south of the border rose on Friday on the back of stronger-than-expected employment data, but investors were nervous amid concerns over an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China.

The Dow Jones Industrials leaped 120.5 points to 24,477.24, with McDonald’s and Walgreens Boots Alliance outperforming.

The S&P 500 gained 20.33 points to 2,756.94, with health care rising 1.1%.

The NASDAQ hiked 79.01 points to 7,665.44

U.S. tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods came into effect earlier on Friday. China responded to the fresh tariffs by imposing its own retaliatory levies on imports from the States.

A spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce stated Friday that while Beijing had refused to “fire the first shot,” it was obligated to counter the U.S.’ actions after Washington “launched the largest trade war in economic history.”

Biogen shares rose nearly 20% after the company announced positive results from a study on a drug aimed at treating early Alzheimer’s disease.

The U.S. economy added 213,000 jobs in June, while economists expected a gain of 195,000. Unemployment, however, rose slightly to 4% from 3.8%. Wage growth also missed expectations, climbing 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. Economists expected growth of 2.8%.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S.Treasury gained slightly, lowering yields to 2.83% from Thursday’s 2.84%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices regained 57 cents to $73.51 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices faded $2.80 to $1,256.00 U.S. an ounce.

This article provided by NewsEdge.