Canada's main stock market ended the week on a positive note,
with its seventh straight winning session, as commodity prices
advanced across the board. The S&P/TSX Composite Index was up
88 points Friday, or 0.7% to close at 13,212.
Energy was the main advancer, sector wise, with a 3% gain.
Materials added 0.2% while financials were up 0.5%. On the negative
side, techs lost 2%.
In stock news, Endeavour Mining (EDV.TO) shares slumped 11%
after announcing a friendly takeover of True Gold Mining in an
all-share deal that values True Gold at about $240 million.
Endeavour would acquire a 90% interest in the Karma mine in Burkina
Faso that is expected to pour its first gold within weeks. Cara
Operations (CAO.TO) jumped nearly 6% after the restaurant owner
swung to a fourth quarter profit as system sales increased on the
opening of new restaurants and the acquisition of New York
Heavily traded Encana (ECA.TO) was up 11% while First Quantum
Minerals (FM.TO) grew 5% on stronger base metals prices. Valeant
Pharmaceuticals (VRX.TO), the day's most influential stock, fell
In economic news, Statistics Canada said a strong gain in export
volumes boosted Canada's merchandise trade deficit in January.
Statscan said the trade deficit increased to $655 million compared
with $631 million in December, beating estimates of as much as $900
million. The increase came as imports rose 1.1% in January.
U.S. jobs were better-than-expected though there were questions
about the quality of those jobs. U.S. employers added a robust
242,000 workers in February and the unemployment rate remained at a
low 4.9%. The Canadian dollar gained nearly half-a-cent to 75.02
On the oil market, futures ended sharply higher Friday, with the
U.S. benchmark posting a weekly gain of around 9.6% as traders
turned their focus from a global glut to signs of slowing U.S.
production amid continued hopes major producers will discuss a
potential output freeze, MarketWatch reported.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures on the New York Mercantile
Exchange rose $1.35, or 3.9%, to settle at $35.92 a barrel,
maintaining gains after data showed the number of active U.S. oil
rigs fell for an eleventh straight week. May Brent crude added
$1.65, or 4.5%, to finish at $38.72 a barrel on London's ICE
Futures exchange. That marked the highest finish since Dec. 10 and
a weekly advance of 9.3%.
Gold jumped on Friday, trading around a more than one-year high
Friday after February jobs data offered a picture of the labour
market that was healthy but not strong enough to shift expectations
of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy, said MarketWatch. April
gold settled up $12.50, or 1%, to $1,270.70 an ounce. The metal
registered a weekly advance of about 4%. Silver and copper both
gained nearly 3%.