* TSX down 39.69 points, or 0.26 percent, at 15,291.05 * Eight of 10 main index sectors decline * Gold-mining shares climb with bullion price By John Tilak TORONTO, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index declined in choppy trading on Friday as investors tried to gauge the impact of a sluggish U.S. jobs report on the Federal Reserve's plans to raise interest rates.
The Toronto market extended its descent after a sharp drop in the previous session, when uncertainty about the Fed's outlook for interest rates, a default by Argentina and geopolitical tensions weighed.
Government data showed U.S. employers added fewer jobs than expected in July and the unemployment rate climbed.
"After yesterday's rout in the marketplace, the jobs number, while slightly below expectations, reaffirms that the U.S. economy is on track," said Philip Petursson, managing director, portfolio advisory group, at Manulife Asset Management, who is bullish about the prospects for the Canadian equity market.
"My assessment is that the market is fully valued, not overvalued," he said. "We do not see any fundamental cracks and will not be calling for investors to be defensive at this point." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 39.69 points, or 0.26 percent, at 15,291.05. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were lower.
Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, gave back 0.4 percent. Royal Bank of Canada lost 0.4 percent to C$80.17, and Toronto Dominion Bank declined 0.5 percent to C$56.74.
The gold-mining sector jumped 1.3 percent, with the price of bullion gaining after the U.S. jobs report. Barrick Gold Corp added 1 percent to C$19.90, and Goldcorp Inc advanced 1.8 percent to C$30.41.
Eldorado Gold Corp shot up 6.6 percent to C$8.62, a day after the miner reported quarterly results.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc's shares, which tumbled on Thursday after the company cut its forecast, rebounded. They were up 2 percent, at C$130.36, and helped boost the healthcare sector.
(Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)