RTTNews - Bay Street stocks could see further strength on Friday morning as investors mull over employment data from both sides of the border. Toronto's market could receive a boost from higher oil prices, while U.S. futures are also pointing higher.

Crude oil continued its march toward $70 per barrel, rising 79 cents to $69.60. Gold prices are about 1% lower while copper is flat.

Canadian employment decreased by 42,000 in May, according to data released Friday by Statistics Canada. The unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage points to 8.4%, the highest rate in 11 years.

Economists were looking for unemployment to rise to 8.3% after coming in at 8% in April and for employment to fall 36,500 jobs in May.

Meanwhile, a U.S. Labor Department report showed that non-farm payroll employment fell by 345,000 jobs in May following a revised decrease of 504,000 jobs in April. Economists had expected a decrease of about 520,000 jobs compared to the loss of 539,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

At the same time, the Labor Department said that the unemployment rate jumped to 9.4 percent in May from 8.9 percent in April.

In corporate news, Magna International's (MG.A.TO) deal with Opel may run into trouble because of Opel's pension obligations, according to reports.

Reko International Group Inc. (REK.TO) reported third quarter net income of C$0.2 million or C$0.05 per share, compared to a net loss of C$0.4 million or C$0.05 per share in the same quarter of the prior year.

Pacific & Western Credit Corp. (PWC.TO) reported a net loss for the second quarter of C$2.2 million or C$0.16 per share, in comparison with a net loss of C$0.60 million or C$0.05 per share in the prior year quarter.

Meanwhile, Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto (RTP) announced it entered into a deal with rival BHP Billiton and scrapped its US$19.5 billion deal with Chinalco.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com