Canadian stocks climbed to a five-month high as better-than-expected U.S. consumer confidence data bolstered the outlook for raw-materials producers and Bank of Montreal’s earnings lifted financial shares.
Goldcorp Inc., the second-largest gold producer by market value, advanced 2.9 percent as the metal climbed for the first time in three days. BMO, Canada’s fourth-largest lender, rose 1 percent after profit beat analysts’ estimates, helped by U.S. consumer banking following its takeover of a Wisconsin lender. SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. tumbled 21 percent after saying 2011 profit missed its projection and opening a probe into inaccurate documentation of payments by its construction unit.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 40.09 points, or 0.3 percent, to 12,740.47, the highest close since Aug. 31. The benchmark measure has jumped 14 percent from an October low as reports on U.S. housing and the labor market bolstered optimism about growth in Canada’s biggest trading partner.
“It’s giving people a little bit of confidence that the economy will gradually improve and the recent run over the past four months in the stock market was not a fakeout,” Irwin Michael, a money manager at ABC Funds in Toronto, said in a phone interview. His firm oversees C$1 billion ($1 billion). “With good earnings, more mergers and acquisitions -- because we see a lot of that happening -- we expect the market to be higher than where it is now at the end of the year.”
Goldcorp, First Quantum
The S&P/TSX Materials Index rose for the first time in three days, climbing 1.4 percent. Goldcorp increased 2.9 percent to C$49.77. Teck Resources Ltd., Canada’s largest base-metals and coal producer, gained 1.3 percent to C$40.86 as copper rose to a two-week high. First Majestic Silver Corp., which mines in Mexico, surged 6.4 percent to C$21.68 as silver rallied the most since Jan. 3.
Confidence among U.S. consumers climbed to a 12-month high in February, signaling household spending will help sustain the expansion, according to the Conference Board’s index.
BMO, the first Canadian bank to report quarterly results, gained 1 percent to C$58.56. The lender reported first-quarter earnings that beat the average analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey by 4.3 percent, excluding certain items. Royal Bank of Canada, the country’s biggest lender by assets, climbed for a sixth day, increasing 1.1 percent to C$55.62.
SNC-Lavalin plunged 21 percent, the most since at least 1992, to C$38.43. The company said an outside law firm is assisting in the inquiry after C$35 million of fourth-quarter outlays were found to have been tied to “projects to which they did not relate” and had to be logged as expenses.
Thompson Creek Metals Co. tumbled 16 percent, the most since November 2008, to C$7.30. The molybdenum producer said its Mt. Milligan copper and gold project may cost more than it had estimated. Analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG and Toronto-Dominion Bank cut their ratings on the stock.
Calfrac Well Services Ltd., an oilfield-services company, surged 9.4 percent, the most since September 2009, to C$30.39 after its fourth-quarter profit, excluding certain items, surpassed all 14 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc., which calls itself the world’s largest industrial auctioneer, decreased 7 percent to C$23.79 after reporting fourth-quarter sales that trailed the average analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey by 5.4 percent.
Petrominerales Ltd., which produces oil and gas in Colombia, had its share-price forecast cut by at least nine analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stock dropped 7 percent to C$17.72, extending its slump after falling 20 percent yesterday, when the company reported drilling results that trailed analysts’ estimates.