TSX ends flat after jobs report but gold miners surge

Reuters
A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange stock information is seen in Toronto
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A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014. …

By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Friday as a rally in shares of gold miners helped overcome worries about the health of the labor market spurred by a sluggish jobs report.

Government data showed that the Canadian economy unexpectedly shed 9,400 jobs in June and the unemployment rate rose to 7.1 percent from 7.0 percent in May, underlining how employment growth has stalled despite a recovery in the United States.

The Toronto stock market appeared to be consolidating after concerns over whether Canadian and U.S. corporations will be able to meet earnings expectations had weighed on investor sentiment in recent days. The benchmark index ended the week lower.

“There is nothing fundamental that has changed here, at least not yet,” said Marcus Xu, portfolio manager at MY Capital Management Corp in Vancouver. “The market is choppy and investors are looking for excuses to sell.”

“Valuation-wise I’m comfortable," he added. “It's not cheap, but it's not crazily expensive."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 11.02 points, or 0.07 percent, at 15,125.50. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.

The gold-mining sector jumped 3.2 percent, with Barrick Gold Corp advancing 4.8 percent to C$20.71 and Goldcorp Inc climbing 2.6 percent to C$30.52. Gold prices notched their sixth straight weekly gain this week.

With oil prices sliding more than 2 percent, shares of energy producers declined 1.4 percent. Suncor Energy Inc shed 1.7 percent to C$44.24, and Encana Corp lost 1.3 percent to C$23.49.

($1=$1.07 Canadian)

(Editing by Jonathan Oatis; and Peter Galloway)

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