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Canadian Stocks Rally as Oil, Gold Advance; Bombardier Surges

Canadian stocks rose, capping a third-straight quarterly gain, as oil advanced the day before the U.S. March employment report and gold climbed after European inflation exceeded most economists’ forecasts.

Bombardier Inc., the maker of trains and airplanes, jumped 13 percent after reporting earnings that topped the average of 20 analyst estimates by 43 percent, excluding certain items. Inter Pipeline Fund increased 5.4 percent as oil rose on concern the Libyan conflict will cut production. Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. rallied 1.1 percent after the U.S. reported smaller corn inventories than analysts had estimated.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index climbed 32.52 points, or 0.2 percent, to 14,116.10.

“Oil’s up because people are expecting good jobs numbers,” said Paul Ma, who manages C$500 million ($514 million) as a money manager at McLean & Partners in Calgary. “Economic growth is up, people drive more cars. Gold is up because of inflation. When there’s inflation, where do people go? Gold.”

The index has gained 5 percent this year as the Canadian and U.S. economies expanded and oil prices surged 17 percent on unrest in the Middle East. The equity benchmark slipped 0.1 percent for the month, ending a streak of eight monthly advances.

Train Contract

In addition to reporting its biggest quarterly profit in two years, Bombardier said today it won a A$269 million ($278 million) train contract from the government of South Australia.

Shares of the Montreal-based company rose 13 percent to a 30-month high of C$7.13.

Crude increased 2.4 percent to a 30-month high. Inter Pipeline climbed 5.4 percent to a record C$17.08. Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp., which produces oil in Colombia, advanced for the first time in eight days, rallying 4 percent to C$26.90.

Bankers Petroleum Ltd., which produces oil and gas in Albania, surged 7.1 percent to C$8.70 after agreeing to pay $34 million to take over 140 wells from Albpetrol Sh.A.

Precious-metals producers climbed after the European Union said consumer prices rose the most in more than two years in March. Bond yields increased in Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Greece.

Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s largest gold producer, gained 0.6 percent to C$50.39. Goldcorp Inc., the No. 2 producer of the metal by market value, advanced 0.5 percent to C$48.34. Rubicon Minerals Corp., which explores for gold in Ontario, soared 16 percent to C$5.02 after releasing a resource estimate.

Production Forecast

Osisko Mining Corp., which is developing a gold project in Quebec, dropped 3.8 percent to C$13.96 after saying 2011-12 production may be lower than it previously forecast.

Potash Corp., the world’s largest fertilizer producer, and Agrium Inc. rose after the U.S. Agriculture Department said corn stocks fell 15 percent from a year earlier.

Potash Corp. gained 1 percent to C$57.18. Agrium Inc., Canada’s second-largest fertilizer producer, advanced 2.9 percent to C$89.53.

First Quantum Minerals Ltd., Canada’s second-largest publicly traded copper producer, climbed 2.5 percent to C$125.42 after Raymond Goldie, an analyst at Salman Partners Inc., raised his 12-month share-price estimate to C$130.75 from C$127. In a note to clients, Goldie cited a reserves increase for the company’s Kevitsa project in Finland.

Central banks’ asset-purchasing programs, known as quantitative easing, were the stimulus for the S&P/TSX’s streak of increases, Ma said.

“Quantitative easing, whether from Japan, from Europe, from London or from the Fed, 100 percent of the time lifts the market up,” he said. When the Fed announced a second round of easing in November, “we put all our money in. We went pedal to the metal.”

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