TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index closed at a record high Friday as financial and energy stocks rose and the unemployment rate dipped.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 99.94 points at 20,475.42 for both a record intraday and closing high.
The gains came as jobs numbers showed a continued recovery, even as they fell below expectations.
Statistic Canada reported Friday that the country added 94,000 jobs and the unemployment rate came in at 7.5 per cent for July compared with 7.8 per cent for June, while many economists had expected the country to add at least 100,000 jobs and the rate to fall to 7.4 per cent.
Job numbers in the U.S. meanwhile came in above expectations, which helped push down the loonie Friday to an average of 79.68 cents US compared with 80.02 cents US on Thursday.
“In Canada, we’re getting job growth, which is positive, we’re just having a slower recovery,” said Anish Chopra, managing director with Portfolio Management Corp.
The job numbers helped boost sectors like energy, finance, retail, and industry, which put some pressure on sectors like tech, said Chopra.
“You see cyclical stocks doing well, because the jobs were really coming mainly in the leisure and entertainment area, which means the traditional economic sectors are coming back after this tough period.”
The energy index climbed just over one per cent as Canadian Natural Resources rose 2.75 per cent and Imperial Oil was up 1.25 per cent, despite a dip in oil prices.
The financial index was up 1.2 per cent as CIBC gained 1.66 per cent and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. was up 2.08 per cent.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 144.26 points at 35,208.51. The S&P 500 index ended up 7.42 points at 4,436.52, while the Nasdaq composite was down 59.36 points at 14,835.76.
The positive economic news helped nudge up U.S. Treasury bond yields, which put a damper on gold, said Chopra.
“Generally, as (yields) go back up, there’s less concern about runaway inflation, and gold is used as a hedge for inflation.”
The December gold contract ended down US$45.80 at US$1,763.10 an ounce and the September copper contract was unchanged at US$4.35 a pound.
The September crude oil contract closed down 81 cents at US$68.28 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was unchanged at US$4.14 per mmBTU.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published August 6, 2021.
Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD)
The Canadian Press