Canadian stocks rose to a record, after falling to a two-week low yesterday, as the central bank kept interest rates steady and commodities advanced the most in a month on faster-than-forecast growth in China.
Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX) gained 2.9 percent after announcing executive changes less than three months after a breakdown in merger talks with its largest rival. Precision Drilling Corp. jumped 4.5 percent after agreeing to a strategic technology and service agreement with Schlumberger Ltd. BlackBerry Ltd. sank 12 percent after Apple Inc. and International Business Machines Corp. agreed to a partnership to reach more businesses.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index (SPTSX) rose 145.02 points, or 1 percent, to 15,226.34 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, jumping the most since April to top a record set July 9. The benchmark Canadian equity gauge has gained 12 percent this year, the third-best performer among the world’s developed markets.
Bank of Canada policy makers kept their benchmark rate on overnight loans between commercial banks at 1 percent, where it’s been for almost four years, and said faster inflation has been caused by one-time gains in energy and import prices, not changes in economic fundamentals.
Canadian factory sales jumped 1.6 percent in May, to C$51.6 billion ($48 billion), after a revised 0.2 percent decline in April, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa.
Nine of 10 industries advanced on trading volume in line with the 30-day average. Raw-materials stocks jumped 1.3 percent as a group and the S&P/TSX Energy Index rallied 1.4 percent to pace gains in the benchmark equity gauge.
The S&P GSCI Index (SPGSCI), which tracks a basket of commodities prices, increased 0.4 percent, the most since June 19. Economic growth beat estimates in China. Gross domestic product rose 7.5 percent in the second quarter in China, the world’s biggest consumer of energy and raw materials, data showed.
Barrick Gold rose 2.9 percent to C$20.28. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Sokalsky said he will be stepping down two years into the job. Kelvin Dushnisky and Jim Gowans will be appointed co-presidents, the company said in a release.
BlackBerry plunged 12 percent to C$10.72, the most since November, after longtime rivals Apple and IBM agreed to a deal yesterday in which IBM will push iPhones and iPads in exchange for a chance to sell software and services to more companies. A key component of BlackBerry’s turnaround strategy has been to target that same business services market.
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