Canadian Stocks Advance as Rising Oil Prices Boost Energy Shares

Canadian stocks gained for a third day as rising oil prices drove energy shares higher and expectations grew that the U.S. Federal Reserve will take further action to boost growth.

Imperial Oil Ltd. and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., two of the nation’s largest energy providers, added at least 1.4 percent. Heroux-Devtek Inc. surged 33 percent after the maker of landing gear agreed to sell four factories to Precision Castparts Corp. for C$300 million. Energy stocks contributed the most among 10 industries to the advance in the Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index.

The S&P/TSX advanced 50.01 points, or 0.4 percent, to 11,571.19. It lost as much as 0.4 percent in earlier trading. The gauge is down 3.2 percent in 2012.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told senators that the central bank is prepared to act to boost growth if the labor market doesn’t improve. Oil rallied 0.9 percent to a seven-week high after his comments and as a Bloomberg survey of analysts showed inventories of the commodity falling.

“Ben Bernanke understands that to make a deleveraging feel not as bad, you can add a lot more money to the system than you normally could,” Arthur Salzer, who manages C$200 million at Northland Wealth Management, said in a phone interview. “He’s doing everything in his power to keep the patient alive.”

Suncor Energy Inc., the nation’s largest oil producer, climbed 0.9 percent to C$29.99. Imperial Oil rallied 1.4 percent to C$43.13. Canadian Natural Resources gained 3.1 percent to C$27.31.

Pinecrest Energy Inc., a Calgary-based oil and gas explorer, advanced 12 percent to C$1.86 as CIBC analysts upgraded its stock to outperform from perform.

Heroux-Devtek rose 33 percent, its biggest gain since at least 1988, to C$10.42 on its sale announcement.

Gold miners declined as the metal fell for the second day on the Comex. Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s largest producer of the metal, lost 0.9 percent to C$35.08. Goldcorp Inc., the second-largest producer, slumped 0.5 percent to C$34.10.

AuRico Gold Inc. slid 13 percent to C$6.66, the most in nearly 11 months, as the company lowered its 2012 production forecast. Separately, the operator of three mines in Mexico and Canada said Chief Executive Officer Rene Marion will resign for health reasons.

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