Toronto, U.S. Markets Reverse Earlier Losses To Close Higher; Loonie Steady


TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index closed higher Friday after paring earlier losses, while the loonie climbed slightly on a mixed jobs report.

The modest gains came as G7 leaders met in Quebec, while markets globally enter a cautious stretch until there’s more clarity on trade, said Macan Nia, senior investment strategist at Manulife Investments.

“Given the back and forth that we’ve experienced over the past week, markets will remain cautious until there’s more clarity on the path forward when it comes to this trade dispute between G7 countries,” he said.

Trade issues have clouded the market, so investors are looking for reassurance that the current dispute doesn’t expand into a greater trade battle, said Nia.

“They want reassurance that the tit-for-tat that we’ve seen is over, and there isn’t going to be additional tit-for-tat tariffs.”

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 9.91 points at 16,202.69.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average ended up 75.12 points at 25,316.53. The S&P 500 index was up 8.66 points at 2,779.03 and the Nasdaq composite index closed up 10.44 points at 7,645.51.

The Canadian dollar averaged 77.15 cents US, up 0.06 of a US cent as numbers from Statistics Canada showed job losses but rising wages.

The data showed the economy lost 7,500 jobs in May while the unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 per cent for the fourth consecutive month. However, average hourly wages increased 3.9 per cent compared with a year ago, the monthly reading’s largest annual increase since April 2009.

The wage growth buttresses the belief that the Bank of Canada will raise the overnight rate, while further wage growth could mean added pressure on rate hikes, said Nia.

“What would be interesting is if we consistently see better than expected wage growth, it might push or force the bank of Canada to raise their overnight rate at a faster pace than they were expecting.”

The July crude contract closed down 21 cents to US$65.74 per barrel and the July natural gas contract was down four cents to US$2.89 per mmBTU.

The August gold contract ended down 30 cents to US$1,302.70 an ounce and the July copper contract was up three cents to US$3.30 a pound.