North American stock markets rally, TSX surges more than 100 points

North American stock markets rally, TSX surges more than 100 points
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Canada’s main stock index surged more than 100 points Friday in a broad-based advance led by the industrials sector.

The S&P/TSX composite index advanced 107.93 points to 15,729.40, with stocks in the industrial sector gaining on average 1.38 per cent.

The Toronto index also got a lift from the energy sector, which rose 0.67 per cent on the strength of the price of oil, said Macan Nia, a senior investment strategist at Manulife Investments.

The price of the commodity jumped nearly two per cent with the June crude contract rising US$1.29 to US$69.72 per barrel.

Nia said there are potential upside catalysts for oil, such as possible new sanctions on Iran, that could raise the prospects of a tighter global crude supply environment and send prices higher in the near term, which would be positive for the TSX.

Both the Canadian dollar and the TSX have a high correlation to the price of oil, due to the large number of energy companies listed on the TSX as well as the sector’s primacy in the Canadian economy.

In New York, indices also made gains. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 332.36 points to 24,262.51, the S&P 500 index rose 33.69 points to 2,663.42 and the Nasdaq composite index moved up 121.47 points to 7,209.62.

That rally came after the United States Department of Labor released employment figures for the month of April. American employers added 164,000 jobs last month and average hourly earnings rose 2.6 per cent from the year before, according to the report.

These figures were weaker than expected, said Nia.

“It eased any concerns that the markets may have had in terms of a faster interest rate hiking cycle and that was positive for U.S. equities,” he said.

The Canadian dollar was trading at 77.75 cents US, unchanged from Thursday.

Elsewhere in commodities, the June natural gas contract fell about two cents to US$2.71 per mmBTU. The June gold contract advanced US$2.00 to US$1,314.70 an ounce and the July copper contract moved up roughly half a cent to about US$3.09 a pound.

— With files from the Associated Press.


Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.

Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press

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