Canadian stocks rose, led by financial companies, after the Institute for Supply Management’s index of non-manufacturing U.S. businesses climbed to the highest level since 2005.
Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canada’s second-largest lender by assets, gained 0.6 percent after the U.S. said factory orders increased in December. Fronteer Gold Inc., which explores in the U.S. and Turkey, soared 39 percent after agreeing to be bought by Newmont Mining Corp. for C$2.3 billion ($2.3 billion). Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., the world’s biggest fertilizer producer by market value, fell 1.2 percent as the U.S. dollar climbed the most in four weeks, weakening commodity prices.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 29.59 points, or 0.2 percent, to 13,709.88 at 11:08 a.m. in Toronto after touching a 29-month intraday high of 13,759.42.
The S&P/TSX had less than half the year-to-date percentage gain of the S&P 500 through yesterday after outpacing the U.S. benchmark each of the past seven years. S&P/TSX materials stocks, which jumped 36 percent in 2010, had declined 3.6 percent as gold futures slid 6.3 percent.
The ISM’s non-manufacturing index for January exceeded 72 of 74 economist forecasts in a Bloomberg survey. U.S. factory orders increased 0.2 percent in December, compared with the median economist estimate of a 0.5 percent drop, the Commerce Department said today in Washington.
The S&P/TSX Financials Index, the biggest part of the S&P/TSX, advanced to a nine-month high. TD gained for a fourth day, climbing 0.6 percent to C$76.65. Manulife Financial Corp., North America’s fourth-largest insurer, advanced 1.8 percent to C$18.24. Bank of Montreal, Canada’s fourth-biggest lender by assets, increased 0.7 percent to C$58.71.
Newmont, the world’s second-largest gold producer, will pay C$14 a share in cash for Fronteer Gold. Shareholders of Fronteer Gold will also receive 80 percent ownership of a new entity that will hold some of the Vancouver-based company’s exploration properties.
Fronteer Gold surged 39 percent, the most since 2002, to C$14.23. Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s largest gold producer, climbed 0.7 percent to C$47.28. Detour Gold Corp., which is developing a mine in northern Ontario, rose 3.5 percent to C$28.95.
Jaguar Mining Inc., which produces gold in Brazil, sank 5.9 percent to a two-year low of C$5.61 after saying it will issue $90 million in debt that can be converted into stock.
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. rose 1.8 percent to C$61.50 after Kulbinder Garcha, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG, said the company is likely to gain market share from Nokia Oyj. RIM’s Finnish rival will “face disruption” when it adopts a new operating system, allowing RIM to sell an additional 5 million smartphones in both 2011 and 2012, Garcha wrote in a note to clients.
Open Text Corp., Canada’s largest software company, surged 14 percent to a record C$57 after topping analysts’ second- quarter profit estimates. The company also agreed to buy fellow business-software maker Metastorm Inc. for $182 million.
Copper producer Equinox Minerals Ltd. jumped 7.3 percent to a three-year high of C$6.60 after releasing an update to its expansion plans for its Lumwana mine in Africa. Drilling results “suggest the potential to substantially increase” resources at one of the mine’s shoots, the company said.
Potash Corp. declined 1.2 percent to C$178.88 as wheat and corn futures retreated from the highest prices since 2008. The U.S. dollar gained 0.9 percent, the most since Jan. 5, against a basket of world currencies.
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