Canadian stocks rose for the first time in three days as gold advanced for a sixth-straight session and mining companies gained as investors sought havens from the European debt crisis.
Goldcorp Inc., the world’s second-largest producer of the metal by market value, increased 4.2 percent. Westport Innovations Inc., which develops natural-gas engine technologies, jumped 7.9 percent after energy producer Chesapeake Energy Corp. said it will form a fund to invest in its industry. Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., the owner of Mac’s and Circle K convenience stores, climbed 6.3 percent after beating analysts’ profit forecasts.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index increased 54.32 points, or 0.4 percent, to 13,234.07.
“There’s risk aversion with respect to what’s happening in Europe,” said Andrew Pyle, who helps manage C$200 million ($207 million) as an associate money manager at Bank of Nova Scotia’s ScotiaMcLeod unit in Peterborough, Ontario. “We’re seeing two streams of safe-haven flows right now, one to the U.S. dollar, and you’ve got gold going up.”
The S&P/TSX dropped the most in five weeks yesterday as investors speculated the European crisis will spread to Italy and oil and base metals fell. Energy and raw-materials companies make up 49 percent of Canadian stocks by market value, according to Bloomberg data.
The euro touched a four-month low against the U.S. dollar today as European finance officials considered remedies that would put Greece into temporary default, a move opposed by the European Central Bank.
In the U.S., President Barack Obama rejected Republican Party efforts to focus on a scaled-down deficit-reduction deal, saying the country needs to both cut spending and raise taxes.
Stocks extended their advance after the U.S. Federal Open Market committee minutes showed some members at its June 21-22 meeting said more stimulus may be necessary.
Gold stocks contributed the most to the S&P/TSX’s rise among industries in the index as the metal rallied 0.8 percent to a record settlement price. Goldcorp gained 4.2 percent to C$50.86. Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s largest producer, advanced 1.6 percent to C$45.19. Rubicon Minerals Corp., which explores for gold in Ontario, rebounded 9.3 percent from a 22-month low to C$3.40.
Silver Wheaton Corp., the country’s fourth-biggest precious-metals company by market value, increased 4.5 percent to C$35.47 as silver rose in electronic trading.
$1 Billion Investment
Westport Innovations surged 7.9 percent to C$25.38 after Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake said it will invest $1 billion in companies that develop infrastructure or technology to increase the use of gas as a motor fuel.
Westport shares have soared 19 percent since June 27, the day before it said it will work with General Motors Co., the largest U.S. automaker, on engine technologies.
Couche-Tard rallied 6.3 percent to a record C$29.85 after reporting profit that beat the estimates of analysts in a Bloomberg survey. The company also raised its quarterly dividend by 25 percent.
An index of S&P/TSX telecommunications companies rose the most in three weeks as Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission held hearings on BCE Inc.’s proposal to impose usage-based billing on independent Internet service providers. Tom Pentefountas, the CRTC’s vice chairman for broadcasting, asserted the union-backed organization fighting the changes is as self-interested as the large companies, the CBC said on its website.
BCE gained 1 percent to C$38.12. Rogers Communications Inc., the cable television provider and wireless carrier, advanced 2 percent to C$38.66.
Trilogy Energy Corp., a western Canadian oil and gas producer, surged 5.5 percent to C$25.22. In a note dated yesterday, Mark Polak, an analyst at Scotiabank, called the stock a “top pick.”