Canada's main stock market eked out a slight gain on Friday as the gains in the info-tech sector overpowered losses in weakening bank shares.
Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index inched up 3.75 points, or 0.03 percent, to 14473.70 points. Five of the eight major sectors were in the rising streak.
The info-tech sector led the TSX to rally 2.45 percent, when IT giants Constellation Software Inc., a software holding company, jumped 2.69 percent to 345.30 Canadian dollars (about 302.03 U.S. dollars) apiece. And CGI Group Inc. also added 2.51 percent to 42 Canadian dollars.
Metals and mining sector advanced 1.24 percent as major basic metal companies advanced. First Quantum Minerals Ltd. climbed 2.99 percent to 17.93 Canadian dollars, and Lundin Mining Corp. increased 2.79 percent to 5.53 Canadian dollars per share.
However, the gold group lost ground with December gold bullion plummeting 17.4 U.S. dollars to 1190.1 dollars on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Barrick Gold Corp. shed 2.72 percent to 13.21 Canadian dollars.
Other major gainers in TSX included healthcare, telecom and industrial shares, up by 0.55 percent, 0.04 percent and 0.02 percent, respectively.
Financials, the most heavily weighed sector, was still in the negative territory and edged down 0.09 percent, as Canadian banks have started to release their fiscal results for the fourth quarter this week.
Bank of Nova Scotia lost 2.04 percent to 66.20 Canadian dollars after reporting a net income of 1,438 million Canadian dollars for the fourth quarter, down 14 percent from 1,676 million Canadian dollars for the same period last year.
Energy slipped 0.10 percent as Suncor Energy Inc. plunged 0.39 percent to 35.75 Canadian dollars. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. lost 0.19 percent to 37.14 Canadian dollars.
Investors were still concerned about the falling oil prices. The most active crude contract for January delivery dropped 0.97 U. S. dollar to 65.84 U.S. dollars on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported Friday that Canada's merchandise imports increased 0.5 percent to 44.8 billion Canadian dollars in October. Exports edged up 0.1 percent to 44.9 billion Canadian dollars. Moreover, the unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 6.6 percent.
Currency-wise, the Canadian dollar went down to 0.8747 U.S. dollar Friday from 0.8791 U.S. dollar Thursday.