TSX rises on higher commodities

North American stock markets were mixed Friday morning, with resource stocks rising as the American dollar weakened after U.S. jobs data missed expectations.The Toronto market was positive with the S&P/TSX composite index ahead 93.88 points to 14,657.26 as traders continued to buy up resource stocks that were beaten down during the selloff that went on for much of October.The Canadian dollar put in a strong showing amid a strong employment readout for Canada and the weaker U.S. greenback, up 0.46 of a cent to 87.99 cents US.The economy created 43,100 jobs last month. Economists had forecast Canada would actually shed about 5,000 jobs after adding 74,000 jobs in September. The Canadian umemployment rate dropped sharply to 6.5 per cent from 6.8 per cent, the lowest since November 2008.New York markets were in the negative column after the U.S. economy generated 215,000 positions during the month, lower than the 235,000 reading that economists had expected. However, the U.S. jobless rate also fell, dropping to 5.8 per cent from 5.9 per cent. Also, U.S. job creation estimates for the past two months was revised upward by 31,000.New York’s Dow industrials fell 52.18 points to 17,502.29, the Nasdaq climbed 13.72 points to 4,624.75 while the S&P 500 index was down 4.4 points to 2,026.81.It was a relatively quiet morning on the earnings front where utility Fortis inc. (TSX:FTS) said that third-quarter profit fell about 70 per cent to $14 million, as it booked a number of non-recurring items related to its acquisition of Arizona-based gas and electric utility UNS Energy Corp. Excluding those items, the Newfoundland-based company had $72 million or 33 cents per share of net income. Its shares dipped a penny to $12.18.Athabasca Oil Corp. (TSX:ATH) said Friday it had a $19.9-million quarterly net loss and comprehensive loss, or five cents per share, while operations provided $7.2 million or two cents per share of positive funds flow. A year earlier, Athabasca had a net and comprehensive loss of $30.5 million or seven cents per share and operations had negative cash flow of $5.3 million or one cent per share. Its shares slipped six cents to $3.13.In other corporate developments, Bloomberg reported that Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX:CP) could be interested in going after Norfolk Southern, the second-largest railroad in the eastern U.S. CP made a pitch for rival carrier CSX during October.CSX “is not the only potential railroad we can merge with,” said Bill Ackman, a Canadian Pacific director and founder of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management LP. “I think the risk with CSX is we merge with” a rival to the Jacksonville, Florida-based carrier. CP slipped nine cents to $234.92 while Norfolk Southern gained three per cent.The TSX could be in for a modest advance at the end of a volatile week when energy shares were whipsawed as a move by Saudi Arabia to cut prices to its American customers pushed oil prices to three year lows. A higher U.S. dollar has also pressured commodities and resource stocks but the energy group, which makes up 25 per cent of the TSX, looked to end the week little changed.Resource stocks were supported by commodities which advanced while the greenback weakened following the American jobs data.The gold sector led TSX advancers, up 3.75 per cent while December bullion gained $7.50 to US$1,150.10 an ounce.The energy sector rose 1.5 per cent while December crude was 36 cents higher to US$78.27 a barrel.December copper was up three cents to US$3.04 a pound and the base metals sector ran ahead 2.4 per cent.

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