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Canadian Stocks Rise as Oil, Gas Gain; Research In Motion Sinks

Canadian stocks rose, trimming a monthly decline, as oil and gas climbed after the U.S. reported larger increases in personal income and spending than most economists had forecast.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., gained 2.4 percent after companies including Caterpillar Inc. and Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. reported earnings that topped analyst estimates. Research In Motion Ltd., the BlackBerry maker, plunged 14 percent after at least five analysts reduced their ratings on the shares. Lundin Mining Corp. jumped 11 percent after the Globe and Mail said a Chinese-led investment group is preparing a possible bid for the base-metals producer.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index climbed 50.39 points, or 0.4 percent, to 13,944.79 after surging more than 80 points in the last 36 minutes of trading.

“It’s just great awareness that economic revival is occurring,” said Greg Eckel, a money manager at Morgan Meighen & Associates Ltd. in Toronto, which oversees about C$1 billion ($1.06 billion). “We saw Cat reporting today. That would be representative of global industry still powering forward.”

The index lost 1.2 percent this month, or 1 percent with dividends included, for the first negative total return since June. The streak of positive returns was the longest since 1983. Energy and financial companies have led the decline as data and forecasts indicated a slowing recovery in the U.S., which bought 75 percent of Canadian exports last year, according to Statistics Canada.

Personal Spending

U.S. personal spending increased 0.6 percent in March, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Economists had estimated a gain of 0.5 percent, according to the median of 69 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey.

Crude oil finished April with a record eighth-straight monthly gain, and natural gas rose 2.8 percent as the U.S. reported a decline in output.

Canadian Natural, the country’s second-largest energy company by market value, increased 2.4 percent to C$44.51. Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp., which produces oil in Colombia, advanced 2.4 percent to C$28.75.

Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., the largest owner of the Syncrude project, rallied 3.1 percent to C$32.64 after its first-quarter earnings topped the average of nine analyst estimates by 8.4 percent, excluding certain items. The company also raised its quarterly dividend by 50 percent to 30 Canadian cents a share.

Rating Cut

Niko Resources Ltd., which produces oil and gas in South Asia, sank 3.7 percent to C$79.95 after Gavin Wylie, an analyst at Scotiabank, reduced his rating on the shares to “sector perform” from “sector outperform.” In a note to clients, Wylie wrote that an Indian government study of an offshore natural gas block in which Niko has an interest raises concerns about water encroachment and resource depletion.

Gold rose to a record as the U.S. dollar fell for a ninth day against a basket of world currencies, the longest streak in four years. The U.S. currency had dropped to the lowest since July 2008 after the Federal Reserve indicated on April 27 that it will not take immediate steps to restrain inflation.

Goldcorp Inc., the world’s second-largest producer of the metal by market value, gained 1.2 percent to C$52.89. Eldorado Gold Corp., Canada’s fifth-biggest gold producer by market value, advanced 3.6 percent to C$17.61. Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd., a gold producer with operations in Quebec, Mexico and Finland, increased 2.6 percent to C$65.92 after reporting first-quarter profit that topped the average analyst estimate.

Base-metals and coal producers gained after the Globe and Mail said a group including Jinchuan Group Ltd. and China Investment Corp. may bid for Lundin. The newspaper cited unnamed “people familiar with the discussions.”

No Announcement

In a written response to the media, the company said its strategic review is ongoing and it has no “material developments” to announce.

Lundin soared 11 percent to a three-year high of C$9.26. First Quantum Minerals Ltd., Canada’s second-largest publicly traded copper producer, advanced 1.7 percent to C$134.83. Quadra FNX Mining Ltd., a copper producer with operations in the U.S., Canada and Chile, increased 3.5 percent to C$15.53.

RIM, Canada’s largest technology company, forecast profit of $1.30 a share to $1.37 a share for the quarter ending May 28, down from last month’s estimate of $1.47 a share to $1.55 a share. Analysts had forecast a profit of $1.50 a share, on average, excluding certain items. In a press release, the company cited a shift toward cheaper smartphones by BlackBerry buyers.

8-Month Low

Shares of the Waterloo, Ontario-based company sank 14 percent, the most since February 2009, to an eight-month low of C$46.09. RIM has tumbled 36 percent over the last 12 months, behind only Jaguar Mining Inc. among S&P/TSX companies.

Trucking company TransForce Inc. surged 7.4 percent, the most in six months, to C$14.09 after saying it has formed an alliance with Deutche Post AG’s DHL unit. TransForce will take over DHL’s Canadian domestic business. The deal will increase the Saint-Laurent, Quebec-based company’s annual revenue by more than C$275 million ($288 million).

Extendicare Real Estate Investment Trust, which owns 265 senior-care centers in the U.S. and Canada, plunged 9.7 percent, the most since December 2008, to C$11.89 after the U.S. Health & Human Services Department proposed a rate cut for skilled-nursing facilities.

In a note to clients, Neil Downey, an analyst at Royal Bank of Canada, said the rate reduction could lower Extendicare’s annual funds from operations by as much as 38 Canadian cents a unit.

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