Energy stocks help TSX rise despite U.S. jobs data surprise

Canada’s main stock index climbed on Friday, as a jump in oil prices propped up energy stocks, while upbeat corporate earnings also helped keep the index in the green.

At 10:27 a.m. ET, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 52.86 points, or 0.25%, at 20,793.3, on track to post its fifth straight weekly gain.

Energy stocks took an early lead, rising 2.6%, helped by a jump in crude prices, which gained more than $1 a barrel.

Methanol producer Methanex and software company OpenText Corp gained 7.3% and 4.5% respectively after reporting better-than-expected quarterly results.

A surge in OpenText helped Canada’s technology sector stave off losses, unlike the technology-heavy U.S. Nasdaq, which fell more than 1% during early trading.

On the flipside, the materials sector, which includes precious and base metal mining companies, edged 1.3% lower as precious metal prices fell against a stronger dollar.

The greenback gained strength after data showed U.S. job growth accelerated sharply in January amid a persistently resilient labor market.

“Initially, the market took that as being a little bit hawkish in terms of the Fed… the stocks have bounced back quite significantly since then,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

“People were more concerned about what does that mean about the Fed, but the flip side of which is that it’s indicative that the economy is holding up pretty well, which is good for corporate earnings.”

The U.S. central bank raised its overnight lending rate by expected 25-basis points on Wednesday, with accompanying commentary by Chair Jerome Powell largely perceived as dovish.

Among individual stocks, Canada Goose Holdings gained 7.8% after falling as much as 24% in the previous session, when the luxury goods maker cut its full-year forecasts.

Silver miners such as Endeavour Silver and SilverCrest Metals were among top losers.