TSX pares weekly decline as oil selloff pauses

Canada’s main stock index edged higher on Friday, recouping some of this week’s decline, as stabilization in oil prices bolstered energy shares, while data showed that Canada’s economy unexpectedly shed jobs for a second straight month in July.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index (.GSPTSE) ended up 43.09 points, or 0.2%, at 19,620.13, its third straight day of modest gains. For the week, it was down 0.4%.

Gains for the TSX were limited after a solid U.S. jobs report torpedoed recent optimism that the Federal Reserve might let up its aggressive campaign to reign in decades-high inflation.

Meanwhile, Canadian data showed that employment fell 31,000 in July but analysts predicted that this would not stop the Bank of Canada from hiking interest rates further in September to fight inflation.

“While today’s figures muddy the waters further for policymakers, the Bank of Canada will likely focus on the historic low unemployment rate and still strong wage growth to justify another non-standard rate hike at its next meeting,” said Andrew Grantham, senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets.

The energy sector rallied 1.9%, as the price of oil settled 0.5% higher at $89.01 a barrel, recovering some ground after earlier hitting its lowest level in six months. Investors have worried that a possible recession could hit fuel demand.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.9%, as copper prices rallied, while industrials ended 0.6% higher.

Shares of Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO) fell 5.2%, although clawing back some of its earlier decline, as the company posted another core loss, denting investor hopes that the cannabis producer would turn profitable anytime soon.

Canaccord Genuity Group Inc (CF.TO) shares ended nearly 14% lower after the investment company reported quarterly results missed analyst estimates.