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TSX with Only Slight Gains to Begin December

BMO, National in Focus

Canada's main stock index was subdued in early trading on Friday as losses in technology stocks countered communications gains, while investors assessed the latest batch of economic data and the last of the big bank earnings.

The TSX Composite gained 31.91 points to begin Friday at 20,268.20.

The Canadian dollar regained 0.11 cents at 73.69 cents U.S.

Among individual stocks, Bank of Montreal reported a fall in its fourth-quarter profit, while National Bank of Canada reported a higher quarterly profit.

Shares in BMO vaulted $1.71, or 1.4%, to $113.09, while National shares hiked $3.93, or 4.4%, to $93.85.

First Quantum Minerals said it would suspend its current-year production outlook for the Cobre mine in Panama and has initiated international arbitration over a contested contract with the country's government. First Quantum shares picked up nine cents to $11.20.

Statistics Canada says the economy created 25,000 jobs in November. The unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage points to 5.8%, continuing an upward trend observed since April.

The Markit Manufacturing PMI in Canada decreased to 47.7 points in November from 48.6 points in October.


The TSX Venture Exchange inched up 0.20 points to 536.58.

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher, with communications better 1.1%, industrials up 0.6%, and real-estate climbing 0.5%.

The two laggards were consumer discretionary stocks, down 0.3%, and information technology, off 0.1%.


Stocks were slightly higher on Friday to kick off December trading after the Dow Jones Industrial Average notched a new 2023 high and capped off its best month in more than a year.

The 30-stock index prospered 61.04 points at 36,011.93,

The S&P 500 dipped 3.92 points to 4,563.05.

The NASDAQ subsided 57.85 points, to 14,168.36.

Traders were waiting to see what Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will say later Friday. Powell is speaking in a fireside chat at 11 a.m. ET at Spelman College. November’s big rally was due in part to traders beginning to believe the Fed was done raising rates and that the central bank may even start cutting them in the first half of next year. The Fed next decides on rates on Dec. 13.

November’s gains snapped a three-month losing streak. The S&P jumped 8.9% and the NASDAQ rallied 10.7%, to notch their best monthly performances since July 2022. The Dow surged 8.8% for its best month since October 2022.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury gained ground, lowering yields to 4.31% from Thursday’s 4.33%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained a dime to $76.06 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices climbed $10.60 to $2,048.70.