TSX rise as US payroll data up hopes of early rate cut

FILE PHOTO: The facade of the original Toronto Stock Exchange building is seen in Toronto

By Shubham Batra and Promit Mukherjee

(Reuters) -Canada's main stock index ended higher on Friday, led by gains in technology and healthcare during a broad-based rally as slowing U.S. jobs growth in April raised hopes of early interest rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 128.52 points, or 0.59%, at 21,951.74, paring most of its losses in the past week.

U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in April and annual wage gains cooled, with traders now adding to bets that the Fed will deliver its first interest rate cut this year in September compared with expectations of one cut in December before the data.

"The jobs report delivered a 'Goldilocks' number: not too hot, not too cold, but just right," said Brandon Michael, senior investment analyst at ABC Funds, adding that this gives central banks the flexibility to cut rates later this year.

Any flexibility that the Fed gets in bringing ahead rate cut chances helps the Bank of Canada from not diverging too much from its U.S. counterpart, as that could weaken local currency and trigger inflationary pressures.

Traders increased their bets for a rate cut by the BoC in June to 75% after the U.S. jobs data, from 56% a day before.

Yields on the 10-year Canadian bond were down 8.3 basis points to 3.650% and the loonie firmed slightly.

On Wall Street, U.S. stocks rallied, with each of the three major indexes up more than 1% and the Nasdaq leading the advance with a jump of nearly 2%.

The TSX was boosted by technology shares, which advanced the most in the day, led by e-commerce firm Shopify which was up 3.4%. It is the third biggest company in Canada by market capitalization.

However, Open Text continued its decline for the second consecutive day with the shares in the software company slumping by over 14% on Friday after an 18.6% fall a day earlier.

Going forward, analysts expect the momentum seen in the stock market to continue next week. "Market technicals have turned decisively bullish, with all major indices now trading above their critical 50-day moving averages," said Michael of ABC Funds.

(Reporting by Shubham Batra in Bengaluru; Editing by Vijay Kishore and Jonathan Oatis)