Canadian Stocks Rise, Completing Monthly Gain, as Gold Producers Advance

Canadian stocks rose for a fifth day after gauges of U.S. home prices and consumer confidence increased more than forecast and gold futures capped their biggest monthly gain since April.

Goldcorp Inc., Canada’s second-largest gold producer, climbed 1.9 percent as the metal rose the most in two weeks. Magna International Inc., the country’s biggest auto-parts maker, rallied 4.3 percent after a court rejected a challenge to its buyout of founder Frank Stronach’s Class B shares. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. fell 5.5 percent after Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst Pierre Ferragu cut his 12- month price estimate on the stock.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index increased 18.31 points, or 0.2 percent, to 11,913.86 at 4:10 p.m. in Toronto. Raw material companies rose 1.4 percent as a group, led by gold producers. Material producers account for about 22 percent of Canadian stocks by market value.

“The strongest influence today is probably gold,” said Youssef Zohny, associate portfolio manager at Van Arbor Asset Management in Vancouver, which manages C$50 million ($47 million). “Economic concerns are driving commodity investors to move away from industrial metals and into precious metals.”

The S&P/TSX gained 1.7 percent this month. Among 24 developed markets’ major equity benchmarks, Israel and Portugal produced the only other gains. Potash Corp., which jumped 46 percent on a takeover bid from BHP Billiton Ltd., accounted for 133.16 points of the S&P/TSX’s 185.22-point gain in the period.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose 4.2 percent in June from a year earlier, topping the median economist estimate of 3.5 percent. Seventeen of the cities showed gains from the previous month.

Consumer Confidence

Canadian stocks advanced further after the U.S. Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence increased to 53.5 from a revised 51 in July. The August figure exceeded all but three of 68 economist forecasts.

An index of S&P/TSX gold companies rose to the highest level since March 2008 as gold for December delivery rallied 0.9 percent to $1,250.30 an ounce on the Comex in New York.

Goldcorp rose 1.9 percent to C$47.30. Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s largest producer, gained 1.5 percent to C$49.95 after touching a two-year intraday high of C$50.65. Iamgold Corp., which mines in Africa, South America and Canada, jumped 2.4 percent to C$20.

Magna gained 4.3 percent to C$83.04 after the Ontario Superior Court of Justice gave its approval to the plan to end Stronach’s control of the company he started in 1969. Stronach’s trust will get about $976.2 million in cash and Class A shares under the plan.

Estimate Cut

RIM, Canada’s largest technology company, dropped 5.5 percent to C$45.70 after Ferragu cut his price estimate on RIM’s U.S.-listed shares to $40 -- the lowest among 41 estimates in a Bloomberg survey -- from $55. Ferragu told clients that 74 percent of businesses in a Bernstein survey have adopted other mobile e-mail platforms, including Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

Energy companies also limited the index’s advance as crude oil traded near an almost three-month low amid concern the U.S. economic expansion is slowing.

Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s largest oil company, declined 1.9 percent to C$32.31. Crude oil for October delivery dropped 3.7 percent to $71.92 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Business activity in the U.S. expanded at the slowest rate this year in August, according to the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc.’s business barometer. A U.S. Energy Department report to be released tomorrow is forecast to show oil supplies rose to a one-month high last week.

‘Uncertain World’

“We’re living in a very uncertain world in terms of economic growth in the industrialized countries,” said Sebastian van Berkom, president of Van Berkom & Associates in Montreal, which manages C$1.1 billion. “Estimates for growth have been declining, so you would expect short-term weakness in the price of oil.”

Oil’s decline accelerated after the U.S. Federal Reserve released minutes of its latest meeting on monetary policy showing that the central bank isn’t inclined to resume large- scale asset purchases to spur growth.

Methanex Corp., the world’s largest methanol supplier, jumped 5.2 percent to C$22.76 after Raymond James Financial Inc. analyst Steve Hansen raised his rating on the stock to “strong buy” from “outperform.” In a note to clients, Hansen said concerns over oversupply are fading and that analysts may raise earnings estimates after cutting them earlier this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Stanton in New York at estanton@bloomberg.net

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