May 21 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian stocks rose for a third day, sending the benchmark equity gauge to the highest level in almost two months, as commodity producers and banks rallied.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., the country’s third-largest energy company by market value, increased 4.2 percent as an index that tracks oil and gas producers surged. Pretium Resources Inc., a gold miner, jumped 13 percent. Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s biggest miner of the precious metal by sales, gained 4.3 percent. Royal Bank of Canada, the nation’s largest lender, surged 2.7 percent.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 129.38 points, or 1 percent, to 12,742.43 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The benchmark gauge has gained 2.2 percent over three trading days to the most since March 28.
“The market is being helped by strength in the big sector groups that dominate,” Greg Eckel, a Toronto-based fund manager with Morgan Meighen & Associates, said in a phone interview. His firm manages about C$1 billion ($970 million). “We’ve been lagging the major indexes by so much, so there’s probably a view that there’s some value in this market.”
The S&P/TSX has gained 2.5 percent this year, the smallest advance among 24 developed-market gauges tracked by Bloomberg.
Eight out of 10 industries in the S&P/TSX index rose today. Commodity producers and banks account for 75 percent of the benchmark gauge.
The S&P/TSX Energy Index added 1.3 percent for a third day of advances and its highest level in 14 months. Oil fell in New York for the first time in five days.
Encana Corp. jumped 3.9 percent to C$20.16, the highest level in two months, and Canadian Natural Resources added 4.2 percent to C$31.66.
Raw-materials producers rose 1.6 percent as a group. The index that tracks miners has fallen 25 percent this year, the worst performance in the S&P/TSX, as gold prices slumped into a bear market.
Barrick Gold rose 4.3 percent to C$19.88 today. Pretium Resources, the developer of the Valley of the Kings gold discovery in northwest Canada, rose the most in the Canadian benchmark gauge, soaring 13 percent to C$7.20.
Royal Bank of Canada advanced 2.7 percent to C$63.86 and Bank of Nova Scotia gained 1.7 percent to C$59.74 to lead lenders higher.
Health-care companies tumbled 2.8 percent as a group, dragged lower by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., which lost 3.3 percent to C$77.78.
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