Canada Stocks Gain, Led by Bank Shares, on U.S. Stimulus Bets

Canadian stocks climbed, led by financial shares, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank has the ability to take additional steps to boost the U.S. economy.

Royal Bank of Canada rose 0.8 percent. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. advanced 0.7 percent and Suncor Energy Inc. added 0.6 percent. Score Media Inc. jumped 47 percent before trading was halted at noon after the Toronto Star reported that Rogers Communications Inc. is looking at buying The Score sports network.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index climbed 19.72 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,082.23. Financials and energy stocks contributed the most to the advance in the gauge. The Canadian equity benchmark was little changed for the week.

“It’s a central-bank driven rally,” said Todd Johnson of Winnipeg, Manitoba-based BCV Asset Management, which manages C$380 million ($383 million). He spoke in a phone interview. “Everybody is looking to global central banks to provide a prop for asset prices, to provide some sort of stimulus. Any positive comment that comes from the Fed will help boost enthusiasm.”

Bernanke repeated the statement from the Federal Open Market Committee’s Aug. 1 meeting that the Fed will provide “additional accommodation as needed.” He has an opportunity to expand on his views in an Aug. 31 speech at the Kansas City Fed’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The S&P/TSX fell as much as 0.2 percent earlier in the day after data showed demand for U.S. capital goods dropped in July by the most in eight months. Bookings for non-military capital equipment excluding planes slumped 3.4 percent, a Commerce Department report showed in Washington.

Silvercorp Gains

Royal Bank of Canada, the nation’s largest lender, advanced 0.8 percent to C$53.73 and Toronto-Dominion Bank gained 0.3 percent to C$80.77.

Silvercorp Metals Inc. added 0.3 percent to C$5.84. Silver climbed for the fifth day, up 0.5 percent to $30.71 an ounce.

Canadian Natural Resources advanced 0.7 percent to C$31.06. Suncor Energy added 0.6 percent to C$31.44. Petrominerales Ltd., a Calgary-based oil company that operates in the Andean region, gained 4.2 percent to C$9.84.

Score Media added 47 percent to C$1.54, its biggest percentage gain since February 2005. Rogers shares gained 0.1 percent to C$40.08.

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