Canadian Stocks Advance as Materials Shares Rise

Canadian stocks climbed for a second time in three days as mining companies advanced with gold prices and Research In Motion Ltd. rallied on speculation it will hire a financial adviser soon.

Lundin Mining Corp., which produces base metals in Europe, gained 5.8 percent. Novagold Resources Inc. climbed 2 percent, while First Quantum Minerals Ltd. jumped 3.1 percent. Research In Motion rallied 2.6 percent after two people with knowledge of the matter said JPMorgan Chase & Co. was the leading candidate to help the BlackBerry maker weigh strategic options. Manulife Financial Corp. gained 1.9 percent as Desjardins Securities Inc. said the stock has the best potential to rise among insurers.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index advanced 24.80 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,153.69 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The gauge is heading for its first weekly gain since February after the Bank of Canada said economic growth will be faster than expected.

“We’re in a general uptrend economically and we do expect that to continue,” Tony Demarin, chief investment officer at BCV Asset Management in Winnipeg, Manitoba, said in a telephone interview. The firm oversees C$360 million ($363 million). “Canada is a lot more on the resources side. When resources do well, that’s what drives the Canadian market.”

Seven-Week Retreat

The S&P/TSX had its seventh straight weekly decline in the five days ending April 13, its longest losing streak since 2008, as weaker-than-forecast U.S. jobs numbers and reports of slowing growth in China raised concern that demand may slip for Canadian commodities. The U.S. is the world’s biggest consumer of oil, while China is the No. 1 user of copper.

Copper advanced as much as 0.6 percent, before erasing the gain, as the chief executive officer of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. said on a conference call that global inventories are relatively low and still facing supply constraints. Gold rose after Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said she expects the resources of the IMF to be “significantly increased” amid Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis.

Lundin jumped 5.8 percent to C$4.56, and Novagold rose 2 percent to C$6.58. First Quantum added 3.1 percent to C$21.52. Goldcorp Inc. climbed 1.7 percent to C$41.18.

Research In Motion advanced 2.6 percent to C$13.42. The company’s final choice for a financial adviser hasn’t been made and could come within days, one of the people familiar with the matter said.

Manulife Gains

Manulife increased 1.9 percent to C$13.47. Shares of Canada’s largest insurer may rally 37 percent from current levels this year as higher bond yields and rising equity market bolster earnings, according to Desjardins.

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. fell 2.2 percent to C$38.75. The convenience store operator’s plan to finance its acquisition of Statoil Fuel & Retail ASA with floating rate debt is “not prudent” over the longer term, Peter Sklar, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets, said in a note to clients. He cut his rating on Alimentation to market perform from outperform. The market perform rating means the stock is expected to perform roughly in line with the market.

SXC Health Solutions Corp. rose the most in the S&P/TSX, jumping 8.9 percent to C$96.49. The provider of pharmacy benefit management services and health-care information technology will stay listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange after agreeing to buy Catalyst Health Solutions Inc. to expand in the U.S., the Globe and Mail reported, citing an interview with Chief Financial Officer Jeff Park.

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