Toronto, New York solidly higher amid op­ti­mism on Greece, China

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WEEKEND BUSINESS -

North Amer­i­can mar­kets posted solid gains Fri­day as traders took in en­cour­ag­ing de­vel­op­ments in the Greek debt ne­go­ti­a­tions and a re­bound on Chi­nese mar­kets that con­tin­ued to gain trac­tion.

The S&P/TSX com­pos­ite in­dex closed up 132.58 points at 14,411.07, as the latest em­ploy­ment sur­vey from Sta­tis­tics Canada that showed a big in­crease in full-time em­ploy­ment in June de­spite an over­all loss of 6,400 jobs as 71,200 part-time po­si­tions were elim­i­nated.

“I loved the gains in full-time jobs,” said Allan Small, se­nior in­vest­ment ad­viser at Hol­liswealth. “One of the big­gest knocks on our econ­omy, when we did grow jobs, was that most of them were part time.”

“But over­all, in terms of the mar­kets, where I fo­cus my at­ten­tion, it had very lit­tle ef­fect.”

“We are still to­day, and prob­a­bly at least un­til early next week, Greece de­pen­dant and who knows how long we'll be China de­pen­dant un­til things (there) set­tle down.”

In New York, Dow Jones in­dus­trial soared 211.79 points to 17,760.41, although the widely watched in­dex ended the week only slightly above where it started. The Nas­daq shot up 75.30 points to 4,997.70 and the S&P 500 ad­vanced 25.31 points to 2,076.62.

The Cana­dian dol­lar rose for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive day, up 0.17 of a U.S. cent to 78.87 cents.

On the New York Mer­can­tile Ex­change, the Au­gust crude oil con­tract set­tled at US$52.74 a bar­rel, down four cents, while Au­gust gold lost $1.30 to US$1,157.90 an ounce.

Over­seas, Chi­nese mar­kets ad­vanced strongly for a sec­ond day fol­low­ing a three-week skid in the wake of strong moves by gov­ern­ment and reg­u­la­tory author­i­ties to halt selling and pro­mote buy­ing. Over­all, the Shang­hai Com­pos­ite In­dex jumped 4.5 per cent, although it is still down 24 per cent this month.

Mean­while, Greece and its cred­i­tors ap­peared to be nar­row­ing their dif­fer­ences af­ter Athens of­fered an aus­ter­ity pack­age that in­cluded con­ces­sions in key ar­eas such as tax in­creases and cuts to pen­sions.

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