The energy sector led a broad-based rally on the Toronto Stock Exchange, which closed higher Friday along with U.S. markets.
“When we look at markets in both Canada and the US, one thing that stands out is we’re really seeing the energy sector in both markets really doing well,” said Kevin McLachlan, portfolio manager at Fiduciary Trust Canada.
The S&P/TSX energy index jumped 2.93 per cent as the May crude contract closed up 98 cents at US$63.08 per barrel and the May natural gas contract was up two cents at US$2.66 per mmBTU.
The gains helped the S&P/TSX composite index close up 84.54 points at 16,396.15 on subdued volume.
The health care index gained 1.34 per cent after Aurora Cannabis Inc. and Aphria Inc. announced they were among the three companies selected by the German government to cultivate and distribute medical pot in the country. Real estate was the sole index that slipped on the day, down 0.27 per cent.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 40.36 points at 26,424.99. The S&P 500 index was up 13.35 points at 2,892.74, while the Nasdaq composite was up 46.91 points at 7,938.69.
U.S. markets got a boost from data that showed employers added 196,000 jobs last month to beat analyst expectations.
The market viewed that as a good result, because expectations were getting maybe a bit lower, you know there have been concerns about growth. So I think that helped today,“ said McLachlan.
Statistics Canada said employment in Canada dipped by 7,200 positions in March to end a six-month streak of job creation. The unemployment rate held firm at 5.8 per cent.
The Canadian dollar averaged 74.70 cents US compared with an average of 74.87 cents US on Thursday.
The June gold contract ended up US$1.30 at US$1,295.60 an ounce and the May copper contract was down 1.6 cents at US$2.90 a pound.