Canadian Stocks Rise to 2-Week High as BlackBerry, Valeant Gain

Canadian stocks rose for a second day, climbing to a two-week high, after a rally in BlackBerry Ltd. shares and health-care stocks offset declines among some gold producers on a drop in the metal’s price.

BlackBerry rose 1.5 percent after announcing yesterday it had formed a special committee to consider strategic options. Iamgold added 2.2 percent after lowering its cost forecast for the year. Alacer Gold Corp. surged 5.7 percent after appointing a new chief executive officer. New Gold Inc. and B2Gold Corp. dropped at least 3.4 percent as the metal declined.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 47.92 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,642.19 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The index has gained 1.7 percent this year after rallying 6.8 percent since June 24.

“There’s some buying going on,” said Stephen Gauthier, chief investment officer with Fin-XO Securities in Montreal. His firm manages about C$550 million ($532 million). “We’re starting to see some good companies that are cheap on a relative basis.”

Health-care and technology stocks rose the most in the S&P/TSX, adding at least 1.4 percent as six of 10 industries advanced. Trading volume was 5.1 percent higher than the 30-day average.

BlackBerry gained 1.5 percent to C$11.27, the highest since June 27. The Waterloo, Ontario-based smartphone maker has surged 19 percent in the past three days.

BlackBerry’s decision to consider takeover offers, joint ventures or partnerships is fueling speculation that investors could band together to keep the company in Canadian hands.

BlackBerry Board

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Prem Watsa, BlackBerry’s largest shareholder through his company, resigned from the BlackBerry board, raising the possibility that he may play a role in rescuing the company.

Health-care stocks rallied 2 percent, the most in the benchmark index, as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. jumped 2.5 percent to a record C$107.58.

Iamgold added 2.2 percent to C$5.62. The gold mining company said its cost-cutting program is 55 percent done, and it expects total cash costs in 2013 of $790 to $840 an ounce, compared with a previous forecast of $850 to $925 an ounce.

Iamgold, based in Toronto, reported adjusted earnings of 8 cents a share, compared with analysts’ estimates of 9 cents, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Alacer Rally

Alacer Gold climbed 5.7 percent to C$2.58 after announcing Rodney P. Antal, formerly chief financial officer, has replaced David Quinlivan as chief executive officer effective immediately.

Alacer sold its stake in an Australian mine in February and is seeking to sell its two remaining assets there after taking charges of $902 million on the unit since the last quarter of 2012.

RMP Energy Inc., based in Calgary, gained 3.5 percent to C$4.76. The oil and gas producer raised its forecast for average production to about 6,800 barrels of oil equivalent a day from 6,000 to 6,500 barrels on strong drilling and production performance in its first half.

New Gold retreated 4.4 percent to C$7.13 and B2Gold lost 3.4 percent to C$3.12. Gold fell for the first time in a week, settling 1 percent lower at $1,320.50 an ounce in New York.

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