Canadian stocks rose for the eighth time in nine days, capping the benchmark index’s third straight weekly gain, as energy producers and miners rallied amid higher commodity prices.
Trilogy Energy Corp. surged 8.3 percent to lead gas companies higher after a report said China Petrochemical Corp. plans to sell half its stake in two shale gas blocks in Canada. Centerra Gold Inc. jumped 4.2 percent to pace gains among gold miners. CGI Group Inc., the designer of the website for the new U.S. health-care exchanges, fell 0.8 percent amid blame for software snags on the portal.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 74.66 points, or 0.6 percent, to 13,399.42 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The gauge rallied 2 percent in the past five days, the biggest weekly gain since July. It’s risen 4.8 percent in October, poised for its best month in two years.
“There’s been a nice uptick in some of the material names,” said Matt Skipp, chief investment officer with Sw8 Asset Management Inc. in Toronto. The firm manages about C$54 million ($52 million). “People are looking for places to put money, and Canada is hanging on the positive side at the moment.”
While the benchmark Canadian index traded at a two-year high after rallying 7.8 percent so far in 2013, U.S. stocks have surged 23 percent this year, with the S&P 500 closing at a record today.
Eight of 10 groups in the S&P/TSX advanced today. Utility stocks gained 1.3 percent to pace gains. Canadian Utilities Ltd. rose 2.3 percent to C$38.08 and ATCO Ltd. gained 2.5 percent to C$48.47.
Energy stocks rallied 1 percent as a group to the highest since March 2012, with gas producers pacing gains. Trilogy Energy jumped 8.3 percent to C$31.58, a three-month high. Precision Drilling Corp. added 4.4 percent to C$11.05 and Enerplus Corp. climbed 2.8 percent to C$18.12.
China Petrochemical plans to sell the stakes in its two biggest shale blocks in Canada to spread costs and speed up their development, Reuters reported, citing Feng Zhiqiang, chairman of North America operations of Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corp.
Materials stocks increased 0.6 percent, erasing an earlier drop of as much as 1 percent as gold prices reversed. Gold for December delivery added 0.2 percent in New York to the highest in a month.
Centerra Gold surged 4.2 percent to C$4.19, while Alacer Gold Corp. jumped 1.3 percent to C$3.22 and Semafo Inc. rose 2.4 percent to $2.98.
CGI Group dropped 0.8 percent to C$35.59, pushing its loss for the week to 4 percent. Canada’s biggest technology company continues to bear responsibility for glitches on the new www.healthcare.gov exchange website. Canada’s biggest technology company posted its second straight weekly loss.
Cameco Corp., a uranium company, erased earlier gains and slipped 0.4 percent to C$19.27 after an earthquake struck northeast of Tokyo and a tsunami warning was issued for the Fukushima region.