Energy and telecoms sectors help lift Toronto stocks

Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, July 6, 2018 11:45AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 6, 2018 5:10PM EDT

North American stocks rose along with the loonie Friday as jobs numbers from both Canada and the U.S. showed positive but stable growth.

Statistics Canada data showed the economy added 31,800 positions in June, while the unemployment rate rose 0.2 of a percentage point to six per cent as more people started looking for work.

The jobs numbers, along with positive wage growth of 3.6 per cent, looked to be enough to justify rate hike this month, said Cavan Yie, a portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management.

“Good overall, could be better, but good enough for the Bank of Canada to hike rates once again this month.”

The data also showed that many of the added jobs were part-time, self-employed, or public sector jobs that are looked on as less encouraging, but overall the numbers were enough to boost the chances of a rate hike and helped the loonie climb.

The Canadian dollar averaged 76.31 cents US, up 0.14 of a US cent following the Statistics Canada data, but the currency is still under threat from trade disputes, said Yie.

“The currency is not out of the woods yet, risks to the loonie are well-documented with the ongoing or escalating trade war.”

On Friday, the U.S. went ahead with its 25 per cent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports. China retaliated with taxes on an equal amount of U.S. products, including soybeans, pork and electric cars, calling the move the start of the “biggest trade war in economic history.”

Yie said while the trade disputes are worrisome, but he doesn’t think they’ll escalate into a full-blown trade war.

“Our base-case view is that cooler heads should prevail…I think the smartest

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