Canada Stocks Gain as Gold, Energy Shares Rise on Libya Unrest

Canadian stocks rose for a third day as gold and energy shares gained after Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi sent troops to battle rebels for control of oil ports.

Goldcorp Inc. increased 1.9 percent as precious metals advanced on demand for a haven from the political turmoil. Silver Wheaton Corp. and New Gold Inc. gained at least 2.7 percent after their earnings beat analyst estimates. Canadian Natural Resources Inc. climbed 3.3 percent as oil rallied on supply concerns.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 38.05 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 14,252.77 in Toronto for a 1.4 percent weekly gain.

“The gold sector has been moving on geopolitical risk concerns,” said Mathieu Roy, who helps manage C$1.5 billion ($1.54 billion) as a money manager at Louisbourg Investments Inc. in Moncton, New Brunswick. “Crude is also strong today. The producers are going to do quite well. I don’t think oil is going back to $80 anytime soon.”

The Canadian benchmark equity index added 6 percent from the beginning of the year as oil soared 15 percent on concern that unrest in the Middle East and northern Africa will restrict supply. Gold futures have gained 8.5 percent since Jan. 27.

Gold climbed 0.9 percent to settle at $1,428.60 an ounce in New York after Libyan opposition leaders rejected a mediation offer by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as armed rebels fought for control of crude-oil ports on the central and eastern coastal trip, boosting the appeal of the metal as a safe haven.

Beating Estimates

New Gold advanced 5.2 percent to C$10.46, the highest level since May 2006. The Vancouver-based gold producer reported fourth-quarter earnings of 15 cents a share on an adjusted basis, beating the average analyst estimate by 18 percent, Bloomberg data show.

Goldcorp gained 1.9 percent to C$48.70, the highest price since July 2008.

Silver Wheaton added 2.7 percent to C$43.64, the highest level since at least 1995. Profit excluding some items of 35 cents a share beat the average analyst estimate by 12 percent, according to Bloomberg data. Silver futures for May delivery jumped 2.9 percent.

Crude oil rose to a 29-month high on concern the unrest in Libya and the Middle East will curb oil supplies. Oil for April delivery increased $2.51 percent to $104.42 a barrel in New York, the highest settlement since September 2008.

Oil, Gas Companies

Canadian Natural, Canada’s second-largest energy company, advanced 3.3 percent to C$49.70, the biggest gain since Feb. 16. Suncor Energy Inc., the country’s largest oil and gas company, rose 2 percent to C$46.39, the highest price since September 2008.

Inmet Mining Corp. declined 7.4 percent to C$64.00, the biggest drop since June. The Toronto-based company that is developing the Cobre Panama deposit in that country, fell on concern the government of the Central American nation may repeal a law allowing some foreign investment in its mining industry.

Trinidad Drilling Ltd. surged after its fourth-quarter profit excluding some items beat the average analyst estimate by 77 percent. The provider of services to the oil and gas industry rose 7.4 percent to $8.84, the second-biggest gain in the Canadian benchmark equity index.

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