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Canada Stocks Snap 5-Day Losing Streak on Gains in Banks

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April 8 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian stocks rose for the first time in six days as gains in financials and energy shares offset a slump among gold producers.

Husky Energy Inc. and Petrobakken Energy Ltd. climbed at least 1.8 percent as crude rallied from its biggest weekly loss in six months. Sun Life Financial Inc. and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. gained more than 1.6 percent. Agrium Inc. rose 1.6 percent after an activist investor said two of its nominees likely received enough votes to sit on the board. Barrick Gold Corp. and Goldcorp Inc. slid at least 1.2 percent as the metal slumped for the fourth time in five sessions.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 12.71 points, or 0.1 percent, to 12,344.56 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The benchmark gauge fell 3.3 percent last week to erase its gains for the year. Trading volume was 11 percent lower than the 30-day average at this time of the day.

“We’re seeing a bit of a bounce back from last week’s correction in Canada,” Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager with Stenner Investment Partners of Richardson GMP Ltd., said from Vancouver. Richardson GMP manages about C$15 billion ($15 billion). “Energy has been generally outperforming metals this year. Financials in general are taking the aggressive moves of the Bank of Japan positively.”

Japan’s central bank last week said it will boost monthly bond purchases to 7.5 trillion yen, exceeding the 5.2 trillion yen forecast by economists surveyed by Bloomberg news.

Sun Life climbed 2.4 percent to C$27.16 while Brookfield Asset Management rose 1.6 percent to C$37.82 as the S&P/TSX Financials index increased 0.2 percent as a group to snap three days of losses.

Crude Rises

Oil rose 0.7 percent after tumbling 4.7 percent last week, the biggest drop in six months. Futures added 66 cents to settle at $93.36 in New York, as militants and government forces clashed in Nigeria and talks between Iran and world powers failed to make progress.

Husky Energy Inc. jumped 2.4 percent to C$28.77 and Petrobakken Energy Ltd. added 1.8 percent to C$8.33.

“The Canadian market has been so far behind the U.S. that any bit of good news on the commodity side will cause the market to do better,” Ian Nakamoto, director of research with MacDougall MacDougall & MacTier Inc., said on the phone from Toronto. He helps manage about C$4 billion.

Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Corp. rose 3.1 percent to C$34.07. The company said it is considering strategic alternatives, including selling itself, in response to Rio Tinto Group’s potential sale of its controlling interest in Iron Ore Co. of Canada, the country’s largest producer of the commodity used in steelmaking.

Labrador Iron Ore owns 15 percent of Iron Ore Co. and collects a royalty of 7 cents on every dollar of revenue generated by the iron ore producer.

Agrium’s Board

Agrium, the Calgary-based fertilizer producer, added 1.6 percent to C$99.33. Jana Partners LLC, the largest shareholder, has been pushing for changes since May and proposed five nominees for 12 positions on the Agrium board. Voting results are expected to be disclosed tomorrow.

Barrick Gold retreated 1.4 percent to C$26.76 and Goldcorp lost 1.2 percent to C$31.93. The metal’s price slid 0.2 percent to $1,572.50 as a stronger dollar reduced the appeal of gold as an alternative investment.

Royal Bank of Canada dropped 0.3 percent to C$59.44, its lowest level since December. The government began a probe into whether the bank hired foreign workers to replace domestic staff, the CBC television network reported on its website. One of the employees being replaced said the new workers were from India.

Diane Finley, Human Resources Minister, said it would be “unacceptable” to replace domestic employees with foreign workers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Lam in Toronto at elam87@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at lthomasson@bloomberg.net

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