TSX Stays Positive, Hitting February Heights

Suncor, MEG in Focus

Equities in Canada’s largest market rose on Friday to near 10-month highs, boosted by a jump in oil prices, better-than-expected job additions in November and a decline in the unemployment rate.

The TSX surged 90.14 points by Friday’s noon hour to 17,488.16

The Canadian dollar added 0.38 cents to 78.10 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Suncor Energy, which took on $1.30, or 6.1%, to $22.64, and Meg Energy, which jumped 36 cents, or 6.9%, to $4.11.

Seabridge Gold fell $2.09, or 8.4%, the most on the TSX, to $22.88. The second-biggest decliner was RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, down 72 cents, or 4%, to $17.31.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported the economy created 62,000 jobs during November, following an increase of 84,000 (or 0.5%) in October. The numbers drove the unemployment rate down 0.4 percentage points last month to 8.5% in November.

In October, Canada's merchandise exports increased 2.2% and imports rose by 1.9%. Thus, Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world was virtually unchanged at $3.8 billion in October.

Economists have predicted the Bank of Canada will not increase its asset-purchase programme anytime soon, and the country's gross domestic product should reach pre-COVID-19 levels within two years.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Thursday the economic impact of the second wave of COVID-19 in Canada has been deeper than expected and the government must be agile to ensure it can respond to gaps in supports should any emerge.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange printed lower 0.95 points to 768.35.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were pointing north, with energy rumbling 4.9% higher, industrials better by 0.9% and utilities improving 0.4%.

The four laggards were weighed most by gold, down 1%, while consumer staples and information technology each dived 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose emphatically on Friday as traders pored through the latest U.S. jobs report, putting the major averages on pace for another weekly advance.

The Dow Jones Industrials continued their surge, rising 181.21 points to 30,150.73. Chevron and Caterpillar rose more than 2% each to lead the Dow higher.

The S&P 500 picked up 25.18 points to 3,691.90. Energy was the best-performing S&P 500 sector, gaining 3.7%.

The NASDAQ gathered 64.82 points to 12,442.

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, well below a Dow Jones consensus estimate of 440,000. The unemployment rate, however, matched expectations by falling to 6.7% from 6.9%.

Friday’s report comes as the number of coronavirus cases has been rising sharply. The U.S. reported record numbers on Thursday of new infections, single-day deaths and hospitalizations.

On Thursday, the stock market was hit by a report suggesting troubles with Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine rollout. Major averages swiftly fell to their session lows after Dow Jones reported said Pfizer expects to ship half of the Covid-19 vaccines it originally planned for this year due to supply-chain problems.

Still, Pfizer and BioNtech are on track to roll out 1.3 billion vaccines in 2021 and the 50-million-dose shortfall this year will be covered as production ramps up, the report said.

The major averages were on pace to post their fourth weekly gain in five weeks. Entering Friday’s session, the Dow was up 0.2%, and the S&P 500 had gained 0.8%. The NASDAQ had risen 1.4% this week through Thursday’s close.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury slumped, raising yields to 0.97% from Thursday’s 0.91%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices moved up 51 cents to $46.15 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices were down $4.10 to $1,837.