Canadian stocks rose, heading for the biggest gain in three weeks, as energy producers advanced after China’s manufacturing unexpectedly strengthened and the Federal Reserve maintained its bond-buying program.
Catamaran Corp. (CCT), a manager of prescription drug benefits, surged 8.5 percent after boosting its profit forecast for the year and topping earnings estimates. Athabasca Oil Corp. and BlackPearl Resources Inc. added at least 5 percent as oil climbed to the highest level in a week. Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s largest energy company by market value, advanced 2.3 percent after second-quarter profit more than doubled.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index (SPTSX) gained 126.17 points, or 1 percent, to 12,612.81 at 10:27 a.m. in Toronto. The gauge advanced 3 percent last month, the largest increase since September 2012. Trading volume was 5 percent above the 30-day average at this time of day.
Eight of 10 industries in the Canadian equity benchmark rose. Utility companies declined 0.2 percent.
China’s manufacturing unexpectedly expanded in July, suggesting a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy may be stabilizing as the government rolls out targeted measures to support growth.
The nation “can’t blindly stimulate economic growth, nor can it allow economic growth to decelerate to a level out of the reasonable zone,” the State Council Information Office said in Beijing after a Purchasing Managers’ Index reading of 50.3 for July, up from 50.1 in June. That compared with the 49.8 median forecast of 35 analysts in a Bloomberg News survey. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.
The Fed said yesterday that persistently low inflation could hamper the economy and pledged to keep buying $85 billion in bonds every month. The central bank statement came as data showed the U.S. economy grew more than projected in the second quarter.
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