Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian stocks rose, capping the biggest gain in three weeks, after companies reported higher-than-estimated earnings and manufacturing in the U.S. and China strengthened.
Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s largest energy company by market value, advanced 3.9 percent after second-quarter profit more than doubled. Catamaran Corp., a manager of prescription drug benefits, surged 9.1 percent after boosting its profit forecast for the year and announcing an acquisition. Athabasca Oil Corp. and BlackPearl Resources Inc. added at least 10 percent as oil climbed the most since since July 10.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index gained 107.32 points, or 0.9 percent, to 12,593.96 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The gauge advanced 3 percent last month, the largest increase since September 2012. Trading volume was 3.6 percent below the 30-day average.
“We saw strong manufacturing data out of China and the U.S., and another key driver we’ve had lately is earnings,” said Jeffrey Bradacs, a fund manager with Manulife Asset Management Ltd., in a phone interview from Toronto. He helps oversee about C$1.50 billion ($1.47 billion) with his team. “Today we had a number of companies in Canada report with strong earnings and that is helping our market.”
China’s manufacturing unexpectedly expanded in July, suggesting a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy may be stabilizing as the government rolls out targeted measures to support growth. The Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. manufacturing index grew at the fastest pace in more than two years as orders and production jumped. China and the U.S. are Canada’s largest trading partners.
Seven of 10 industries in the Canadian equity benchmark rose. Health-care and energy companies paced gains, adding at least 1.9 percent.
About 57 percent of the companies in the S&P/TSX that have reported earnings have exceeded analysts’ profit forecasts, data compiled by Bloomberg show. More than 90 companies in the gauge are scheduled to report earnings between tomorrow and the end of next week.
Catamaran surged 9.1 percent to a record C$59.03 after beating second-quarter earnings estimates and increasing its full-year profit forecast. The company also announced it will buy pharmacy benefit manager Restat for $409.5 million in cash.
Athabasca Oil climbed 10 percent to C$7.95 and BlackPearl Resources added 13 percent to C$1.81 as oil rose 2.7 percent.
Suncor Energy gained 3.9 percent to C$33.74. The company’s second-quarter profit more than doubled after earnings a year ago were crimped by a one-time charge on its Syrian operations. Chief Executive Officer Steve Williams has been cutting costs by halting or delaying projects.
Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc. added 2.6 percent to C$30.56. The fertilizer producer fell 22 percent in two days after OAO Uralkali, the world’s largest potash producer, predicted prices for the crop nutrient will fall about 25 percent after it exits an export cartel.
Barrick Gold Corp. added 2.7 percent to C$17.46. The company reported sales and earnings excluding one-time items that surpassed analysts’ estimates.
Cameco Corp. fell 1.6 percent to C$20.53. The world’s third-largest uranium producer said it will sell less of the nuclear fuel via its German trading unit than previously planned prices have fallen 27 percent in the past year.
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