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TSX Slightly Lower Friday on Solid Jobs Data

The Toronto stock market closed slightly lower Friday, with gold stocks bearing the brunt of the pain as the price of the precious metal declined to a three-month low. Toronto’s S&P/TSX composite index gave back 5.48 points to 13,553.30, while the loonie lost 0.73 of a U.S. cent to 75.21 cents U.S. The global gold sector of the TSX was the lead decliner, slipping 3.2%, as the December gold contract fell for a seventh straight session, settling at $16.50 to US$1,087.70 an ounce. That’s the lowest level that gold futures have been at in more than three months.  Statistics Canada announced that the economy added 44,400 new jobs, although much of the gain stemmed from temporary public administration work most likely linked to the federal election.
In New York, markets were mixed as solid jobs data made a December interest rate hike from the U.S. Federal Reserve seem increasingly likely. The Dow Jones average of 30 stocks gained 46.90 points to 17,910.33, the broader S&P 500 index declined 0.73 of a point to 2,099.20 and the Nasdaq rose 19.38 points to 5,147.12. The U.S. Labor Department said the economy added 271,000 jobs last month — the biggest gain so far this year — while unemployment declined to five per cent and hourly wages rose.


Canada Gains 44,000 Jobs, Unemployment Drops to 7%

The country’s labour force ballooned by 44,400 net jobs last month, thanks to a surge in temporary public-administration work likely generated by the federal election, Statistics Canada says. The agency’s latest job-market report also says Friday that the increase helped push October’s unemployment rate down one tenth of a percentage point to 7%. “The increase was seen across all provinces and mostly in temporary work, and coincided with activities related to the recent federal election,” the agency writes.
The October data also shows that the number of part-time positions soared by 35,400, while full-time jobs crept up by just 9,000. The overall net rise in employment last month was higher than economists’ expectations of a 10,000-job increase. It also surpassed the 12,000 positions added in September. The agency also finds that 143,400 more people were working compared to a year ago, and the overall employment number eclipsed 18 million last month for the first time. The report says the country added 41,300 positions in the private sector last month and gained 30,500 public-sector jobs. By province, Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Manitoba added jobs, while energy-rich Alberta, hit hard by the decline in oil prices, registered a decline. The other provinces only saw small changes.


Sources: Bloomberg; Investment Executive;  advisor.ca, Statistics Canada