TSX ends Friday up slightly as trading volumes subdued

·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange stock information is seen in Toronto

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended Friday slightly up, adding to this week's rise, as trading volumes stayed low amid a U.S. holiday.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 10.75 points, or 0.05%, at 21,229.65. For the week, it rose 3.33%, the best weekly performance in two months, helped by gains in healthcare stocks.

"It's been a tremendous week on the market," said Barry Schwartz, portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services. "With all of this worry about the virus, the market is just looking well past it."

Rising infections fueled by the new variant's emergence over the past month have forced countries to reinstate some restrictive measures and stoked market fears, but new data suggesting Omicron was milder than the Delta variant have eased some concern.

Pot producers pushed the healthcare sector up 0.64% on Friday, led by Aurora Cannabis Inc, Cronos Group Inc and Canopy Growth Corp, up 0.19%, 0.08% and 0.18%, respectively.

"We knew it would not be a big day for trading because a lot of the Americans are out of the market and in Canada we were only open until 1 p.m.," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.

The TSX closed early on Friday at 1 p.m. ET and will remain shut on Monday and Tuesday for Christmas and Boxing Day.

The industrials sector advanced 0.37% while the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.35%.

Energy stocks rose 0.2% on Friday as the heavily weighted financial services sector rose 0.22% while technology fell 0.59%.

The Canadian dollar strengthened by 0.05% to 1.2816 on Friday.

(Reporting by Maiya Keidan; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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