Bay Street's main index climbed back above the 10,000 mark on Friday as investors mulled over employment data from both sides of the border as well as the results of the U.S. government's stress tests on struggling lenders.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index has added 88.01 points or 0.88% to move at 10,055.06. The index reached its highest level since October earlier this week.
Energy stocks have led the upward charge with a 3% rally. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) has rallied 3.75%, Suncor (SU.TO) has added 3.6%, Canadian Oil Sands (COS.UN.TO) is up 3% and Encana (ECA.TO) has rallied 2.7%.
Light sweet crude for June delivery has climbed to $57.46, up 74 cents on the session. Prices climbed as high as $58.45 in early trading, 12 cents shy of yesterday's high crossing.
Mining stocks are up 1.8% as copper has gained 4.6 cents to $2.185 per pound. Thompson Creek Metals (TCM.TO) has gained 5.7%, FNX Mining (FNX.TO) is up 5.2% and Hudbay (HBM.TO) has gained 1.6%.
Gold and copper producer Northgate Minerals (NGX.TO) is up 2% after the company posted net income for the first quarter of US$21.4 million or US$0.08 per share, compared to US$19.7 million or US$0.08 per share in the year-ago quarter.
Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) has slipped 2.7% after the gold producer posted first quarter net income of US$13.1 million or US$0.04 per share, compared to US$20.7 million or US$0.06 per share in the prior year quarter.
Revenue for the quarter decreased to US$52.4 million from US$72.4 million in the year-ago quarter.
Financials are showing a 0.65% as investors digest the results of the stress tests. Scotiabank (BNS.TO) is up 1% to lead the big six banks higher.
Kingsway Financial Services (KFS.TO) has dropped 6.75% after the company reported first quarter net loss of US$58.3 million or $1.06 per share, compared with a net loss of $34.4 million or $0.62 per share in the first quarter of 2008.
Air Canada (AC-A.TO) has plunged 17.1% after the airliner reported a first quarter net loss of C$400 million or C$4.00 per share, compared to a net loss of C$288 million or C$2.88 per share in the first quarter of 2008.
Canadian employment grew by 36,000 in April, the result of an increase in self-employment, according to data released Friday morning by Stats Canada.
Despite this increase, overall employment has fallen by 321,000 since the peak in October 2008. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.0% in April, remaining at its highest level in seven years, with the growth in employment coinciding with an increase in the labor force.
Across the border, the U.S. Labor Department report showed that non-farm payroll employment fell by 539,000 jobs in April following a revised decrease of 699,000 jobs in March. Economists had expected a decrease of about 600,000 jobs compared to the decrease of 663,000 originally reported for the previous month.
Traders also had their first chance to react to the official results of the U.S. government's stress tests of the nation's 19 largest financial institutions, which were released late Thursday afternoon. The showed that 10 of the 19 banks tested need to raise a total of $74.6 billion. The banks involved in the exercise account for two-thirds of the assets and more than half of the loans in the U.S. banking system.
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