Toronto stock market declines on lower commodity prices loonie up

TORONTO — Lagging commodity prices dragged down the Toronto stock market Friday, while solid jobs data upped the odds of a central bank rate hike and provided a boost to the loonie.The S&P/TSX composite index lost 50.84 points to 15,027.16, led by gold stocks, which were down 2.26 per cent on lower bullion prices. Meanwhile, the decline in the price of oil caused energy stocks to retreat by 1.46 per cent.The Canadian dollar gained ground following a stronger-than-expected jobs report that increased the likelihood the Bank of Canada will raise its key interest rate next Wednesday. The loonie was trading at an average price of 77.60 cents US, up 0.36 of a U.S. cent.That’s after Statistics Canada reported that the economy added 45,300 jobs last month, nudging the unemployment rate down to 6.5 per cent from 6.6 per cent the previous month.“The strong jobs number was that final nail in the coffin that increased the odds of a rate hike in Canada. That is going to lead to a stronger loonie,” said Craig Jerusalim, a portfolio manager of Canadian equities at CIBC Asset Management.In New York, markets were higher after new data showed that the U.S. labour market added 222,000 positions in June — more than analysts had expected. The government also raised its job gains estimates for April and May.The Dow Jones industrial average gained 94.30 points to 21,414.34. The S&P 500 index climbed 15.43 points to 2,425.18 and the Nasdaq composite index rose 63.62 points to 6,153.08.In commodities, the August crude contract gave back $1.29 to US$44.23 per barrel and the August natural gas contract declined two cents to US$2.86 per mmBTU.The August gold contract was down $13.60 to US$1,209.70 an ounce and the September copper contract lost two cents at US$2.65 a pound.Follow @alexposadzki on Twitter. read more