Canadian stocks rose to a 19-month high, erasing losses from earlier in the day, as energy companies rallied and BlackBerry surged on takeover speculation.
BlackBerry jumped 14 percent, the most in five weeks, after a report said Lenovo Group Ltd. might consider buying the smartphone maker. Pengrowth Energy Corp. rallied 5.4 percent as it closed an asset sale. Nevsun Resources Ltd. plunged 10 percent ahead of the company’s removal from an exchange-traded fund of gold-mining stocks.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 22.88 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,858.49 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, its highest closing level since July 2011. The benchmark equity gauge fell as much as 0.2 percent earlier in the day, after Chinese production data missed estimates. Trading volume was 19 percent lower than the 30-day average.
“There’s some thinking that energy stocks in Canada were oversold, and we’re seeing a bit of that following through today,” Robert McWhirter, president of Selective Asset Management Inc., said on the phone from Toronto.
Energy shares contributed most to gains in the S&P/TSX, as six of 10 groups advanced. Petrominerales Ltd. added 4.7 percent to C$6.70. Pengrowth Energy gained 5.4 percent to C$5.50. The company said it will repay all outstanding bank debt after completing the sale of a non-core asset for C$316 million.
Oil rose 11 cents to $92.06, the highest settlement since Feb. 27. Crude fell as much as 1.2 percent earlier in the day after China industrial output and retail sales grew in the first two months of the year at slower-than-forecast rates. China is a major consumer of Canadian resources.
“We had some mildly negative numbers out of China, nothing too bad,” said David Cockfield, fund manager with Northland Wealth Management. The firm manages C$225 million ($219 million).
Technology stocks climbed 4.1 percent as a group, the biggest daily jump since Jan. 11. BlackBerry, formerly known as Research In Motion Ltd., surged 14 percent to C$15.29 for its largest advance since Feb. 4. Lenovo Chief Executive Officer Yang Yuanqing told a French financial newspaper that a deal with the smartphone maker “could possibly make sense, but first I need to analyze the market and understand what exactly the importance of this company is.”
AT&T Inc. said it will begin taking orders for BlackBerry’s new Z10 device tomorrow. The phone will go on sale in the U.S. on March 22.
Petrobank Energy & Resources Ltd. dropped 4.4 percent to 65 Canadian cents after S&P said the stock will be removed from the benchmark Canadian equity gauge starting on March 18. Colossus Minerals Inc. and Nordion Inc. will also be pulled. Colossus rose 1.2 percent to C$2.47, and Nordion slid 3.9 percent to C$6.87.
Element Financial Corp. is the only company that will be added to the measure. Its shares rose 1 percent to C$8.89.
Nevsun Resources slumped 10 percent to C$3.62 after Market Vectors said it plans to remove the stock from the Market Vectors Global Junior Gold Miners ETF. The company is transitioning to copper production this year.