Canadian stocks rose, for the highest close in a week, as the nation’s largest wireless carriers rallied after U.S.-based Verizon Communications Inc. said it would not enter the market.
Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI/B) and Telus Corp. advanced at least 5.5 percent as telephone stocks surged the most in more than four years. Teck Resources Ltd. and First Quantum Minerals Ltd. added more than 1.7 percent as the price of copper climbed on signs of improving growth in China and the U.S. BlackBerry Ltd. (BB), which is weighing a sale, increased 1 percent after Microsoft Corp. agreed to acquire Nokia Oyj’s handset business.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index (SPTSX) rose 86.60 points, or 0.7 percent, to 12,740.50 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, the best close since Aug. 26. The gauge earlier climbed as much as 1.4 percent to the highest since March 20. Markets were closed yesterday for a holiday in Canada.
“The 800-pound gorilla is not coming to Canada,” said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager with ABC Funds in Toronto. His firm manages C$800 million ($760 million). “Clearly the fears of Verizon coming to Canada was there overhanging the market. Right now it’s a knee-jerk reaction to the surprise.”
Telephone stocks jumped 5.1 percent, the steepest rise since November 2008, to lead seven of 10 industries in the benchmark index higher. Trading volume was 18 percent lower than the 30-day average at this time of the day.
Verizon said yesterday it was not going to make an acquisition in Canada. Shares of the country’s existing wireless providers had slumped after the U.S. company said in June it was weighing a bid to buy Wind Mobile, the largest of three new Ontario-based carriers.
Rogers, Canada’s largest wireless carrier, soared 7.2 percent to C$44.59, the biggest gain since November 2008. Telus gained 5.5 percent to C$34.50, the most since August 2009. BCE Inc. added 3.9 percent to C$44.86, its best day in two years.
BlackBerry advanced 1 percent to C$10.75. Microsoft agreed to buy BlackBerry rival Nokia’s handset business and license its patents, casting together the lot of two technology companies trying to stay relevant against more fleet-footed rivals.
The Waterloo, Ontario-based smartphone maker said in August it has formed a special committee to explore various options for the company including a possible sale. Both Nokia and BlackBerry have lost market share to Apple Inc. and devices running Google Inc.’s Android software.
Teck Resources rose 3.2 percent to C$27.38 and First Quantum Minerals added 1.7 percent to C$17.85. Copper futures jumped 2.2 percent, the most in more than three weeks, as signs of improving economic growth buoyed demand prospects in China and the U.S., the world’s biggest consumers of the metal.
Manufacturing in the U.S. expanded more than forecast in August to the fastest pace since June 2011. Data yesterday showed China’s manufacturing index increased to a 16-month high in August, while other gauges showed euro-area factory output expanded at a faster pace than initially estimated in August.
Eldorado Gold Corp. increased 2.6 percent to C$9.20 and Goldcorp Inc. gained 1 percent to C$31.42. Gold rose for the first time in a week, as tension in the Middle East spurred demand for assets considered safe havens.
Trinidad Drilling Ltd. gained 4.4 percent to C$9.48, the biggest rise in eight months, after entering into a joint venture with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Halliburton Co. to provide drilling rigs in Saudi Arabia and Mexico.
The Romanian government proposed a referendum next year on allowing the project to proceed, following a protest by thousands of people over the company’s plan to use cyanide at the Rosia Montana mine. Gabriel had said it could “hopefully” receive approval by November.
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