Canadian Stocks Rise on TMX Approval, U.S. Car Sales

Canadian stocks rose for a sixth day led by financial shares after the Competition Bureau approved a proposed bid for the Toronto Stock Exchange by a group of Canadian banks. Consumer shares advanced as U.S. car sales rose more than analysts expected last month.

TMX Group Inc., owner of Canada’s main equity and derivatives exchanges, rose 3.2 percent, the biggest gain in more than two months.

The three largest banks, Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, and Bank of Nova Scotia, gained as bank stocks led advances. Magna International Inc., North America’s largest auto-parts supplier, rose 5.9 percent, its biggest gain in two months. Suncor Energy rose 1.2 percent as energy stocks rallied.

The S&P/TSX rose 68.86 points, or 0.6 percent, to 11,917.19 at 12:14 p.m. in Toronto. On the gauge, 158 members rose and 78 fell. The benchmark index rose the most yesterday since January.

“Auto news continues to show strength as consumers in the U.S. continue to spend. When people are buying big-ticket items such as cars and trucks, it shows they still feel confident spending,” said Anil Tahiliani, who manages the portfolio that holds Magna stock at Calgary-based McLean & Partners Wealth Management, which runs C$900 million ($888 million).

The Competition Bureau in Ottawa said that it doesn’t intend to challenge the acquisition of TMX Group.

General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC reported better than predicted gains from the year-earlier period in which they dominated the U.S. market because of vehicle shortages at Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. caused by Japan’s tsunami.

Banks Gain

Royal Bank rose 1.6 percent to C$53.94 and Toronto-Dominion continued a six-day gain, adding 0.8 percent to C$80.35. Scotiabank rose 1.1 percent to C$53.89.

Magna rose 5.6 percent to C$42.24. Linamar Corp., the Aurora, Ontario-based manufacturer of automotive parts, gained for the second day, moving up 2.8 percent to C$20.67.

Encana dropped 1 percent to C$20.44 as crude dropped from a one-month high. Trican Well Service Ltd. slumped 9.8 percent to C$11.02, its biggest decline since September, as it forecast a loss in the second quarter. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., the third-largest oil company in Canada, added 0.5 percent to C$28.56.

Barrick Gold Corp. dropped 1 percent as the metal declined in London. Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. declined 2.8 percent to C$9.94, snapping two sessions of gains.

(Corrects to say gold trading in London in final paragraph.)