TSX at one-month high on strong employment data, commodity gains

(Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index hit a one-month high on Friday after better-than-expected employment data underscored a consistent economic recovery from the coronavirus, while elevated gold and base metal prices also helped.

* At 9:36 a.m. ET (13:36 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 59.53 points, or 0.36%, at 16,594.07.

* The index was also set for its largest weekly gain since mid-July, as heavyweight gold and oil-linked stocks benefited from higher resource prices.

* Canada added 378,200 jobs in September and the unemployment rate fell to 9.0%, beating analyst expectations.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metal miners and fertilizer companies, added 2.1% as gold and base metal prices rose on the back of a weak dollar and supply woes.

* While the energy sector fell on the day in tandem with oil prices, it was set to add nearly 9% for the week, tracking a similar weekly performance in crude.

* Cannabis stocks continued to surge after Democratic vice president nominee Kamala Harris said marijuana would be decriminalized at a federal level in the United States under a Biden administration.

* On the TSX, 138 issues were higher, while 74 declined for a 1.86-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 12.64 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Dundee Precious Metal, which jumped 7.1% after posting consistent third-quarter production numbers and reiterating its annual guidance.

* Nfi Group Inc fell 3.4%, the most on the TSX, after National Bank of Canada cut the stock’s target price.

* The most heavily-traded shares by volume were Oceanagold Corp, Aphria Inc and Toronto-Dominion Bank.

* The TSX posted 3 new 52-week highs and no new lows.

* Across all Canadian issues, there were 10 new 52-week highs and one new low, with total volume of 22.42 million shares.

(Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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