Canadian stocks rose the most in two weeks as financial firms and metals producers rallied after Lawrence Summers withdrew his bid to be U.S. Federal Reserve chairman and tensions over Syria eased.
Toronto-Dominion Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce added at least 0.7 percent to lead financial stocks to the highest close in more than five years. Semafo Inc. and Rio Alto Mining Ltd. jumped at least 6 percent as gold futures gained for the first time in five days. Wi-Lan Inc. soared 6.8 percent after settling pending patent litigations with Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 93.48 points, or 0.7 percent, to 12,816.88 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, the most since Aug. 29. The benchmark Canadian equity gauge has risen 3.1 percent this year.
Summers, former U.S. Treasury secretary and economic adviser to President Barack Obama, was considered the top candidate alongside Fed vice chairman Janet Yellen to succeed Ben S. Bernanke as head of the central bank.
“Yellen is probably the one who will be put in, they might wait until she gets appointed before they make any moves,” said John Kinsey, fund manager with Caldwell Securities Ltd. in Toronto. The firm manages about C$1 billion ($971 million). “Gold is oversold, and it’s getting a little bit of relief today. We’re in kind of a bull trend here and it’s not surprising we’re up. New York’s having a good run here and we’re tagging along.”
Investors are debating the speed at which the Fed will taper its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases, perhaps as soon as this week’s meeting of policy makers beginning on Tuesday.
Rio Alto climbed 6 percent to C$2.29 and Semafo surged 8.8 percent to C$2.10. Gold for December delivery advanced 0.7 percent to $1,317.80 an ounce in New York, snapping four days of declines.
Dream Unlimited Corp. jumped 7.7 percent to C$11.80 as financial stocks gained 1 percent as a group for the highest close since December 2007. All 10 industries in the S&P/TSX advanced.
Toronto-Dominion, the second-largest lender in Canada, gained 1.2 percent to C$91.02 and CIBC rose 0.7 percent to C$81.73 after the two lenders agreed to a deal to split up the latter’s credit-card portfolio.
CIBC will receive about C$3 billion cash, along with an upfront C$200 million, from Toronto-Dominion and Aimia Inc. in exchange for about half of its Aerogold Visa card balances. Aimia, a loyalty-card operator, picked Toronto-Dominion last month as its primary card partner after a two-decade long relationship with CIBC.
Aimia surged 7.3 percent to C$17.85, for a five-year high.
Encana Corp. retreated 1.8 percent to C$18.29 and Athabasca Oil Corp. slipped 2.3 percent to C$7.39 as crude declined to a three-week low. The U.S. and Russia struck a deal on Sept. 14 demanding the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons by mid-2014, with the U.S. saying it maintained a military option to ensure compliance.
Torex Gold Resources Inc. increased 0.7 percent to C$1.50 after the gold exploration company reported initial resources from its Media Luna project in Mexico.
“The resource came in at the upper end of expectations,” said Daniel Earle, analyst with TD Securities, said in a note to clients.
Wi-Lan soared 6.8 percent to C$3.62 after granting a multi-year license for some of its wireless products patents to Alcatel-Lucent. Under a separate agreement, Wi-Lan will also acquire a portfolio of patents from Alcatel-Lucent.
CGI Group Inc., Canada’s largest technology company, jumped 5.5 percent to C$35.37, the most in six weeks, after Standard & Poor’s Dow Jones Canadian Index Services added the stock to the S&P/TSX 60 Index.
The addition, effective Sept. 20, is expected to trigger 8 million shares of buying interest in the Montreal-based technology services company, said Thanos Moschopoulos, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets, in an e-mail to Bloomberg.