Canadian stocks rose for a fifth day, capping its biggest weekly gain in three months, as gold rallied after Fitch Ratings cut Greece’s credit rating and natural gas rebounded from a five-week low.
Encana Corp., Canada’s largest natural gas producer, gained 2.3 percent as the fuel advanced on forecasts for warmer weather in the U.S. Goldcorp Inc., the world’s second-largest gold producer by market value, increased 1.4 percent as the metal climbed to a one-week high. Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., the world’s biggest fertilizer producer by market value, fell 2.6 percent as wheat dropped because of forecasts for rain in dry areas of Europe.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index climbed 27.18 points, or 0.2 percent, to 13,652.27. For the week, the S&P/TSX rose 2.1 percent.
“The global economic data is softer but still positive,” said Philip Petursson, managing director of the Portfolio Advisory Group at Manulife Asset Management, a Manulife Financial Corp. unit that oversees $217 billion. “Valuations and earnings growth in the U.S.” are also favorable.
Nine of 10 S&P/TSX industry groups gained this week as the lowest prices relative to earnings in six months attracted investors back into Canadian stocks. The S&P/TSX’s 3.5 percent quarterly decline through yesterday was the third-most among developed-market stock benchmarks behind the Austrian Traded Index and the Athens Stock Exchange General Index.
S&P/TSX financial, consumer-staples and technology stocks advanced the most this week in three months and an index of pipeline companies surged the most in 19 months. Utility and telecommunications stocks both climbed for a fifth week.
The S&P/TSX Energy Index gained as natural gas jumped 3.3 percent and oil rose 1.2 percent. Encana advanced 2.3 percent to C$32.60. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., the country’s second-largest energy company by market value, increased 0.7 percent to C$40.88.
Crew Energy Inc., a western Canadian oil and gas producer, rallied 6.9 percent to C$15.72 after Kim Page, an analyst at Wellington West Capital Markets Inc., raised her rating on the shares to “strong buy” from “buy.”
Trilogy Energy Corp., which also produces oil and gas in Canada, surged 13 percent to a five-year high of C$25.81 after its first-quarter cash flow topped the average analyst estimate by 10 percent. At least five analysts raised their price forecasts for Trilogy shares.
Gold gained 1.1 percent, the most in three weeks, after Fitch cut Greece’s credit rating to B+ from BB+, saying a restructuring of the country’s debt would be considered a default. The S&P/TSX Gold Index climbed for a sixth day, the longest streak since August.
Goldcorp rallied 1.4 percent to C$47.50. Silver Wheaton Corp., Canada’s fourth-biggest precious-metals company by market value, advanced 1.9 percent to C$34.17 as silver rallied. Alacer Gold Corp., which mines in Turkey, climbed 5.7 percent to C$8.76.
Fertilizer producers retreated as wheat dropped for a second day. Potash Corp. decreased 2.6 percent to C$50.58. Agrium Inc., Canada’s second-biggest fertilizer producer, fell 0.8 percent to C$77.85.
Sino-Forest Corp., a forest-products company that operates in China, lost 4.3 percent to C$20.33. China’s power shortage may cut economic growth by 0.4 percentage points this year, Lu Yanjin, an analyst at Fuzhou, China-based Industrial Securities Co., wrote in a report today.
New Millennium Capital Corp., which is developing an iron ore project in Quebec, soared 15 percent to C$2.95 after ArcelorMittal said it will spend C$2.1 billion ($2.2 million) to raise output at its nearby Mont-Wright mine.