Canadian stocks rose for a fourth day as oil prices topped $90 a barrel for the first time since May and U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said he is prepared to take further action on stimulus if warranted.
Cogeco Cable Inc. plunged 15 percent, the most since 2006, after the cable-television company agreed to buy Atlantic Broadband for $1.36 billion. Enerplus Corp., an oil and gas producer, climbed 5.7 percent after Barclays Plc analysts raised the stock to equalweight from underweight. Goldcorp Inc. declined 3.6 percent as gold declined the most in a week.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index gained 7.96 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 11,579.15. The benchmark index has fallen 3.1 percent in 2012. Banks and energy companies contributed the most among 10 industries to the advance in the gauge. Raw-materials stocks fell the most.
Beginning construction of U.S. homes rose more than forecast in June to the fastest rate in almost four years, indicating a brighter outlook for the residential real estate market. Bernanke assured lawmakers the Fed can limit inflation while providing record stimulus and won’t allow consumer prices to rise in return for faster economic growth.
“We’re in oversold conditions, and projecting the Fed is going to act,” Robert Sneddon, president of Oakville, Ontario-based CastleMoore Inc., said in a phone interview.
Oil rose after the U.S. Energy Department reported crude-oil inventories fell less than expected, by 809,000 barrels to 377.4 million. The median forecast of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was a decline of 1.3 million barrels of crude.
Crude for August delivery increased 65 cents, or 0.7 percent, to settle at $89.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price ranged from $88.59 to $90.04, the highest intraday level since May 30.
Suncor Energy Inc., the nation’s largest oil company, gained 0.7 percent to C$30.20. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., the nation’s third-largest energy provider, advanced 2.8 percent, to C$28.07. Enerplus climbed 5.7 percent to C$14.03.
Cogeco Cable plunged 15 percent to C$37.90. The deal, which will aid the company’s U.S. expansion, is expected to be completed by year-end.
The Bank of Canada’s monetary policy report said consumer and business investment will lead modest economic growth through 2014 while weaker global demand curbs exports. Consumption and housing spending will account for nearly three-quarters of a 2.1 percent expansion this year, the central bank said.
Goldcorp dropped 3.6 percent to C$32.86. Barrick Gold Corp. fell 1.2 percent to C$34.66. Yamana Gold Inc. declined 3.1 percent to C$14.51.