TSX shrugs off weak jobs, wider trade deficit
The main index of the Toronto Stock Exchange closed higher Friday despite weak data on jobs and international trade. Stocks were helped by energy and financials which gained on higher oil prices and US jobs data.
As equities gained, gold producers suffered with prices down almost 2 per cent at the close of the session.
Wall Street also closed higher - with the S&P500 and Nasdaq reaching new record highs – as the US economy added 250,000 jobs, easily beating the analysts’ predictions of 180,000.
Asian markets closed mixed ahead of the jobs data while European indexes were boosted by the show-of-strength in the US economy to close higher.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 20.0 (0.83 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed up 191.5 (1.04 per cent)
Oil is trending higher (Brent $44.40, WTI $41.97 at 4.55pm)
Gold is trending lower (1342.80 at 4.55pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7593
Trade deficit hits record high
Canada’s trade deficit with the rest of the world widened to a record $3.6 billion in June, up from $3.5 billion in May.
Statistics Canada reported Friday that imports were up 0.8 per cent to $45 billion with prices rising 0.2 per cent and volumes up 0.7 per cent; exports were up 0.6 per cent to $41.4 billion with prices up 2 per cent and volumes 1.4 per cent lower.
Canada’s trade surplus with the US declined to $1.8 billion as exports fell to $31.6 billion (down 1.2 per cent) while imports were up 1.5 per cent to $29.8 billion.
Canada lost 31,000 jobs last month
While analysts were applauding a strong jobs report south of the border, Statistics Canada was reporting a loss of 31,000 jobs in July, the first decline for 3 months.
The unemployment rate edged 0.1 per cent higher to 6.9 per cent.
The 0.2 per cent decline in employment was driven by full-time roles which fell 71,000 while part-time added 40,000.
It was a bad month for younger Canadians as 15-24 year olds were the net losers with other demographics largely unchanged.
Employment declined in Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, and increased in British Columbia and New Brunswick.