Canadian stocks rose a fourth day, the longest streak in almost six weeks, as industrial companies and energy producers gained after manufacturing from the U.S. to Europe and China expanded more than forecast.
Air Canada, the best-performing stock in the Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index (SPTSX) this year, increased 4.1 percent. Talisman Energy Inc. rallied 4.5 percent after agreeing to appoint two board members backed by billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn to avoid a proxy fight. B2Gold Corp. and Semafo Inc. sank at least 11 percent as gold declined, extending the worst monthly performance since June.
The S&P/TSX rose 24.17 points, or 0.2 percent, to 13,419.57 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, the longest winning streak since October. Trading in the index’s stocks was in line with the 30-day average.
The economic data “is pointing to the right direction,” Pierre Bouchard, a portfolio manager at Toronto-based Toron AMI, said in a phone interview. His firm oversees C$3.8 billion ($3.6 billion). “As long as we don’t have a big issue from the economic point of view, markets should keep going up. But I don’t see them up a lot necessarily because we’ve had a lot of good performance already.”
The S&P/TSX finished November up 0.3 percent as data showed growth in Canada accelerated in the third quarter at the fastest pace in two years and the global economy improved. That’s the index’s fifth consecutive monthly advance, the longest rally since October 2012.
The Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. factory index rose to 57.3 in November from 56.4 a month earlier, the Tempe, Arizona-based group’s report showed today. The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of 77 economists called for a drop to 55.1. Manufacturing in the euro-area expanded, with Markit Economics’s factory index rising to 51.6 in November, while factory growth in China also beat estimates.
The S&P/TSX has risen 7.9 percent this year, the third-worst performer among developed markets ahead of Hong Kong and Singapore, as commodities are headed for their first annual loss since 2008. Energy and raw-materials producers accounted for more than a third of the index.
Raw-materials companies sank 2.8 percent today for the only loss among 10 S&P/TSX groups, as gold stocks slid. The price of the precious metal is set for the first annual drop in 13 years as some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value.
Gold prices today fell to the lowest level since July after signs of a strengthening U.S. economy fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve is ready to slow the pace of its monetary stimulus. Silver tumbled.
B2Gold plunged 12 percent to C$1.96 and Semafo tumbled 11 percent to C$2.47.
Nine of the 10 main industries in the gauge advanced as health-care, consumer-staples and industrial companies climbed more than 1.2 percent for the best performance.
Air Canada, the nation’s largest carrier, rallied 4.1 percent to C$7.87, the highest level since June 2008. The stock has jumped 350 percent this year as profit beat analysts’ estimates amid progress in the company’s cost-cutting plan.
Talisman Energy (TLM) climbed 4.5 percent to C$12.99. Samuel Merksamer and Jonathan Christodoro will join the board this month and will be on the company’s slate of board nominees for re-election next year, according to a filing from the oil and natural gas producer. In exchange, Icahn agreed not to conduct a proxy contest at the next Talisman annual meeting.
Activist shareholders from Icahn to Barry Rosenstein have pushed for changes at energy companies they believe have failed to realize the value of reserves. Icahn, who has amassed a 7.4 percent stake in Talisman, said in October he may seek talks with management on “strategic alternatives” and board seats.
Canacol Energy Ltd. jumped 9.9 percent to C$5.35. The company, which explores oil in South America, announced results from a well located in the Llanos Basin of Colombia.
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