TORONTO, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Canada's main stock market in Toronto ended Friday at a record high, as strong employment data, rising copper and energy prices contributed to the historic day.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite jumped 111.82 points, or 0.72 percent, to end the session at 15,729.12 points. Nine of the 10 sub groups finished the day ahead.
Friday's closing mark tops the previous peak of 15,685.13 points set on Sep. 3, 2014. Since the beginning of the year, the index is up 441.53 points (2.89 percent).
Prior to markets opening, Statistics Canada reported that the economy added 48,300 jobs in January, thumping market expectations of a 10,000 decline. The majority of the jobs came from the service-producing sector, accounting for 42,600 (88.20 percent) of the new jobs. The unemployment rate also ticked down 0.1 percent to 6.8 percent.
The Materials and Energy groups had the strongest performances of the day, rising 1.46 percent and 0.97 percent, respectively.
The TSX Materials Group, which is made up of producers of gold, precious metals, and raw materials, climbed up after copper prices spiked following a labour dispute at one of the largest copper mines in the world. Australian-based BHP Billiton declared a force majeure after 2,500 workers in their Chilean mine walked off the job. The mine is expected to produce nearly five percent of the global copper supply. The spot price of copper surged 4.64 percent to 2.756 U.S. dollars a pound.
As a result, copper miners Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. And Hudbay Minerals Inc. saw shares soar 10.25 percent to 4.41 Canadian dollars (3.37 U.S. dollars) and 7.83 percent to 11.57 Canadian dollars (8.84 U.S. dollars), respectively.
The Energy Group prospered after the International Energy Agency reported that the OPEC supply cut had a compliance rate of 90 percent in January. Price of Brent crude oil in London for April delivery rose 1.83 percent to 56.68 U.S. dollars a barrel.
Calgary-based energy firms Encana Corporation and Baytex Energy Corp posted respective gains of 2.83 percent and 1.45 percent. Outperforming the duo was Crescent Point Energy Corp., boosting a 4.35 percent increase to end the week at 15.12 Canadian dollars (11.55 U.S. dollars).
Other groups to finish the day higher included: Consumer Discretionary (0.90 percent), Consumer Staples (0.85 percent), Information Technology (0.84 percent), Health Care (0.80 percent), Industrials (0.71 percent), Financials (0.49 percent), and Utilities (0.03 percent).
The TSX IT benefited from British Columbia based Sierra Wireless Inc. shares rocketing 31.04 percent after posting strong fourth quarter results. The networking firm posted net earnings of 15.4 million U.S. dollars, compared to a 2.7 million U.S. dollar loss the year prior.
The Financial Group profited from insurance firm Sun Life Financial Inc. shares advancing 1.00 percent to close at 51.65 Canadian dollars (39.47 U.S. dollars). Also contributing were Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal, with 0.70 percent and 0.60 percent increases.
The lone group to finish with a losing day was Telecommunications, fading 0.12 percent.
The Canadian dollar gained 0.3 cents to finish the week at 0.7642 U.S. dollars.