Canada's main stock market Friday eked out a slight gain as a rally in gold shares overpowered the negative impact of Canada's sluggish job data in June.
Following a horrible dive triggered by Portugal's banking system crisis, the Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index inched forward 11.02 points, or 0.07 percent, to 15,125.50 points on the closing bell. The index has gained 11.26 percent from the beginning of this year, and investors are waiting for the clues from the overnight rate decision of the Bank of Canada on July 16.
The market fluctuated over the worse-than-expected labour force data released by Statistics Canada Friday morning, which showed that Canada lost 9,400 jobs in June, and jobless rate ticked up to 7.1 percent. And the federal agency also said that the employment growth in June logged the lowest growth rate on a year-over-year basis since February 2010.
In sectors performances, six of the eight most weighed groups were in the green, as the losses in energy and financial shares were offset by the gains in the gold miners, which gained more than 5 percent in this week.
The energy sector suffered the biggest slump by 1.42 percent with the lower oil price. Light, sweet crude price for August delivery closed down 2.1 U.S. dollars to 100.83 U.S. dollars per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Most of the major oil and gas companies tumbled with Canadian Natural Resources shrinking 2.04 percent to 47.57 Canadian dollars (about 44.32 U.S. dollars) and Encana down 1.3 percent to 23.49 Canadian dollars.
Driven by the gains mainly from the gold miners, the mining sector advanced 0.93 percent, leading the gainers, when the world' s biggest gold miner Barrick soared 4.81 percent to 20.71 Canadian dollars; Goldcorp Inc. also rallied 2.62 percent to 30.52 Canadian dollars, and Yamana Gold Inc. surged 3.54 percent to 9.06 Canadian dollars.
The info-tech sector added 0.55 percent with BlackBerry rising 1.81 percent to 12.37 Canadian dollars.
On the currency front, the Canadian dollar Friday moved down to 0.9316 U.S. dollar, from 0.9392 U.S. dollar on Thursday.