Canadian stocks rose for the first time in seven days, led by producers of base metals and fuel, as commodity prices rebounded on signs of ample demand in China.
Teck Resources Ltd., Canada’s largest base-metals producer, gained 5.6 percent as copper advanced the most since Feb. 16. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., the country’s second-biggest railroad, climbed 2.7 percent after raising its dividend. Toronto-Dominion Bank, the country’s second-largest bank, increased 1.7 percent as lenders rallied.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 115.4 points, or 1 percent, to 11,521.35. The measure decreased 4.1 percent this week.
“You can’t go six or seven days down without there being some point in time where people step in and say there is some value here now,” Blair Falconer, who manages about C$800 million ($757 million) as a money manager at HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc. in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. “In Canada, the economy is actually quite strong.”
The S&P/TSX had slumped 6.5 percent during the six-day streak of losses, the longest since August 2007, on speculation austerity measures imposed to cut fiscal gaps in Europe might inhibit economic growth. Oil futures plunged 21 percent and copper 12 percent this month through yesterday.
Canadian retail sales jumped 2.1 percent in March, the most since February 2005, to a record C$37 billion ($34.5 billion), Statistics Canada said today.
Expiration of stock options today and a three-day weekend coming up in Canada may be encouraging investors who have short- sold shares by borrowing and selling them, in a strategy to profit from a decline, to buy stock to cover their positions, Falconer said.
Copper futures climbed 4 percent after China’s customs office said imports jumped 50 percent in March from the average of January and February.
Teck rallied 5.6 percent from a six-month low to C$33.75. Copper producer Mercator Minerals Ltd. soared 16 percent to C1.52, nearly erasing a 14 percent loss from yesterday.
Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., which is developing the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia with Rio Tinto Group, increased 4.7 percent to C$14.35. The company said it may receive as much as $300 million in financing from both the European Bank for Reconstruction and the International Finance Corp.
Copper-mining companies Quadra Mining Ltd. and FNX Mining Co. each surged at least 9.4 percent after announcing the completion of Quadra’s purchase of FNX. The combined company, to be called Quadra FNX Mining Ltd., has forecast 2010 production of 300 million pounds of copper and 150,000 ounces of platinum group metals.
Crude oil for July delivery closed at $70.04 a barrel, down 1.1 percent and above yesterday’s $68.01 settlement price of the June contract. June futures expired at the close of floor trading yesterday.
Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s largest oil and gas company, climbed 2.4 percent to C$31.19. Talisman Energy Inc., an energy company that operates in North America, the North Sea and Indonesia, rose 2.7 percent to C$17.40. Ivanhoe Energy Inc., the developer of the Tamarack oil sands project, rallied 7.1 percent to C$2.42 for its first gain in nine days.
Canada’s eight publicly traded banks all gained. Analysts and researchers speculated limits on derivative trading passed by the U.S. Senate yesterday will not remain in the final version of the financial overhaul legislation.
TD rose 1.7 percent to C$71.50. Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada’s third-largest bank, climbed 1 percent to C$49.50.
Canadian Pacific advanced 2.7 percent to C$56.30 after boosting its quarterly dividend 9.1 percent to 27 Canadian cents a share. Canadian National Railway Co., the other Class I railroad in Canada, increased 1.3 percent to C$59.60.