By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Canadian stocks fell Friday, giving back gains that arrived following better-than-expected domestic and U.S. reports on jobs, as energy issues declined on lower oil prices.
The S&P/TSX Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598478/delayed CA:GSPTSE +0.89% lost 29 points, or 0.2%, to settle at 12,418.99, with the energy group /zigman2/quotes/210598495/delayed XX:TORGC187 +2.68% ending near session lows. The composite index had been up by as much as 0.3% after reports showed improvement in both the Canadian and U.S. labor markets.
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Statistics Canada on Friday said employment increased by 52,000 jobs in September — mainly in full-time work, which has been a sticking point. Expectations were for about 10,000 jobs to be added, said Chris Vecchio, a currency analyst at DailyFX.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the U.S. economy created 114,000 nonfarm jobs. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected the addition of 110,000 jobs in the U.S. See more on the U.S. jobs report for September.
Canadian financial /zigman2/quotes/210598468/delayed XX:TORGC189 +0.24% stocks edged higher and industrials /zigman2/quotes/210598464/delayed XX:TORGC193 +0.90% advanced following the data. Shares of insurer Manulife Financial Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208833709/delayed CA:MFC +1.84% rose 1.1%, Toronto-Dominion Bank /zigman2/quotes/209283160/delayed CA:TD -0.44% picked up 0.2% and Canadian Pacific Railway /zigman2/quotes/205690198/delayed CA:CP +2.24% climbed 1.7%.
Job growth in Canada was centered on a “strong gain in construction, a rebound after earlier weakening, and a solid performance in wholesale/retail trade,” as well as recreation, Avery Shenfeld at CIBC WM Economics told clients Friday. The report also showed a “small drop” in manufacturing and a decline in the public sector.
“Overall, this looks like a strong report despite the rise in the jobless rate,” wrote Shenfield. The unemployment rate rose to 7.4% from 7.3% in August as more people searched for jobs, said StatsCan.
The U.S. dollar fell nearly 1% against Canada’s currency /zigman2/quotes/210561978/realtime/sampled USDCAD +1.2053% following the StatsCan report, but pared its loss through the day, leaving the greenback buying 97.99 Canadian cents.
Energy stocks moved lower alongside a downturn in oil prices, which initially had climbed after the U.S. report on jobs. The report also showed the unemployment rate fell to 7.8% from 8.1% in August.
Oil for November delivery /zigman2/quotes/209727081/delayed CLX22 -3.87% fell $1.83, or 2%, to $89.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil had been trading at $90.59 ahead of the release of the jobs data. November natural-gas futures shed 1 cent, or 0.3%, to $3.40 per million British thermal units. See: Oil at new lows after jobs boost fizzles.
In Toronto, shares of natural gas and oil producer EnCana dropped 2.6%, Crew Energy /zigman2/quotes/205009148/delayed CA:CR +4.98% fell 1.7% and Canadian Natural Resources /zigman2/quotes/203742161/delayed CA:CNQ +3.87% declined 1.6%.
The S&P/TSX Composite logged a weekly gain of 0.8%. It had fallen in the previous two weeks.