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Canadian Stocks Have Best Weekly Gain Since October; RIM Jumps

Canadian stocks rose for a fourth day, led by banks and gold producers, after a government report showed the economy created almost five times as many jobs as economists estimated and metal prices rallied.

Research In Motion Ltd. jumped the most since December after Reuters reported the BlackBerry maker plans an applications store and consumer Internet services in China. Barrick Gold Corp. and other material producers contributed the most to the gain in the Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index, as gold climbed the most in three weeks.

The benchmark for Canadian equities rose 137.08 points, or

1.2 percent, to 11,570.45 in Toronto. The index has climbed 3.3 percent since July 2, the biggest weekly gain since Oct. 9.

The jobs report “puts a positive tone to the Canada economic resilience,” said Todd Johnson, who helps oversee about C$200 million ($194 million) as a portfolio manager at BCV Asset Management in Winnipeg, Manitoba. “Valuations are fair, given that we’re expanding the economy, consumers are still spending and businesses are relatively healthy.”

The S&P/TSX this week rebounded from an eight-month low as the International Monetary Fund raised its estimate for global growth this year, easing concern that a widening European debt crisis and tightening in China will hinder growth worldwide.

The Canadian dollar today advanced against the U.S. currency after Statistics Canada said payrolls increased by 93,200 in June and the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to

7.9 percent, the lowest since January 2009, from 8.1 percent.

Canada’s Strength

“There is a lot of strength in the Canadian economy,” said Chyanne Fickes, who helps manage C$780 million at Stone Asset Management in Toronto. “Our market’s been following the U.S., but our economy doesn’t look anything like that of the U.S. There’s a lot of really good value in the market right now.”

While the Federal Reserve has kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low since December 2008, the Bank of Canada raised its lending rate from a record low of 0.25 percent on June 1 after the economy grew at a 6.1 percent annualized pace in the first quarter. The chance of an increase to 0.75 percent when the Canadian central bank meets July 20 rose to 96 percent today from 76 percent yesterday, according to a Credit Suisse Group AG calculation derived from overnight index swaps.

Royal Bank of Canada, the country’s biggest bank, climbed

2.4 percent, the most since April 29, to C$54.37. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the fifth largest, advanced 2.7 percent to C$68.70.

Barrick, Teck Gain

Barrick, the world’s biggest gold producer, increased 1.4 percent to C$45.04. Teck Resources Ltd., Canada’s largest base-metals producer, increased 3.4 percent to C$35.60 as copper capped a weekly gain.

Research In Motion rallied 7 percent to C$55.23 for the biggest gain in the S&P/TSX. Canada’s biggest technology company is making a push into the world’s largest mobile phone market, Reuters reported, citing the company’s head of China operations.

Canadian National Railway Co. fell 0.7 percent to C$60.70 after being downgraded to “neutral” from “overweight” at JPMorgan Chase & CO.

Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust, which calls itself the largest landlord in Canada’s Atlantic provinces, dropped 1.3 percent to C$11.15 after saying it would sell at least 2.67 million units at C$11.05.

West 49 Inc. jumped 9.4 percent to C$1.40, the highest price since July 2007. The skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing apparel retailer said Zumiez Inc. in the U.S. plans to make an offer to trump Billabong International Ltd.’s bid of C$1.30 a share.

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