Canadian stocks rose, after sliding to a two-month low yesterday, as gains in gold producers and utilities offset declines among phone companies.
Telus Corp. and BCE Inc. retreated more than 0.8 percent after Canada’s phone regulator yesterday said it will review wholesale roaming rates. Centerra Gold Inc. and Alacer Gold Corp. climbed more than 4 percent as the metal increased. Atlantic Power Corp. surged 11 percent to pace gains among utilities stocks.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 11.31 points, or 0.1 percent, to 13,125.70 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The benchmark equity gauge has risen 5.6 percent this year, the fourth-worst performer among developed markets ahead of Austria, Hong Kong and Singapore.
“There’s indecision in the market,” said Andrew Pyle, a fund manager at ScotiaMcLeod Inc. in Peterborough, Ontario. He manages C$220 million ($207 million). “The only consensus is the fundamentals in the U.S. have improved. The numbers have pushed the pendulum towards tapering, but not necessarily enough to push it towards tapering in December. Everyone is sitting on the fence.”
The Federal Reserve will probably start reducing its $85 billion of monthly bond purchases at next week’s meeting, according to 34 percent of economists surveyed Dec. 6 by Bloomberg, up from 17 percent in a Nov. 8 poll.
Centerra Gold soared 9.1 percent to C$3.95 after a report from Gezitter.org said the Kyrgyzstan government is working towards improving conditions for a 50-50 split deal over ownership of the company’s Kumtor project.
The Kyrgyz parliament rejected a proposed deal with Centerra on Oct. 23 and said the government must come to an agreement with the company by Dec. 23 to settle ownership issues.
Rio Alto Mining Ltd. jumped 8.1 percent to C$1.47 and Alacer Gold gained 4.4 percent to C$2.35 as the S&P/TSX Gold Index advanced 0.7 percent. Gold futures rose 0.8 percent in New York.
Raw-materials stocks advanced 0.5 percent as a group as eight of 10 industries in the benchmark Canadian equity gauge advanced on trading volume 18 percent lower compared with the 30-day average.
Atlantic Power, which invests in electric generating facilities in the U.S., surged 11 percent to C$3.65, the biggest advance since May.
Bankers Petroleum Ltd. jumped 5.9 percent to C$4.28. The company said production will increase 10 to 15 percent in 2014.
“Bankers’ 2014 budget proposes attractive production growth,” said Gordon Currie, an analyst at Salman Partners Inc. in a note to clients.
BlackBerry Ltd. rose 2.6 percent to C$6.42 after extending a deadline for its lenders to buy as much as $250 million in convertible debt. The investors, including Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., have until Jan. 13 to decide. BlackBerry reports fiscal third-quarter earnings on Dec. 20.
Telus lost 0.9 percent to C$36.10 and BCE slipped 0.8 percent to C$45.24, the lowest since October, as telephone stocks dropped 0.9 percent as a group for the biggest decline in the S&P/TSX.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said yesterday that large phone providers may be charging smaller firms too much for roaming. Telus and BCE, along with Rogers Communications Inc., are the three largest wireless phone carriers in Canada.