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Canada Stocks Climb as Materials Shares Rally Amid Economic Data

Canadian stocks rose as raw-materials shares rallied with copper prices and U.S. data showed consumer confidence climbed to a six-year high.

Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. rallied 3.5 percent as copper futures jumped 2 percent in New York. Agrium Inc. rose 1.8 percent after a report said the fertilizer company may consider selling assets. Legumex Walker Inc. dropped 9.8 percent after the bean and pea processor reported a quarterly loss.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index gained 20.94 points, or 0.2 percent, to 14,299.49 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The gauge has risen 5 percent this year.

“Materials have rebounded from a really, really bad day so people are trying to look for value and pick your pockets of opportunity and put a little bit of money to work,” said Brian Huen, managing director at Red Sky Capital Management Ltd. in Toronto. He helps manage about C$225 million ($201 million).

U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly climbed in March to the highest level in six years, propelled by improved optimism about the economy’s prospects. The report from the Conference Board overshadowed separate data showing American home sales dropped in February.

Materials stocks added 0.9 percent after dropping 2.8 percent yesterday. Copper advanced in New York after Anglo American Plc halted work at a mine in Chile, sparking concern supply might be disrupted.

Turquoise Hill climbed 3.5 percent to C$3.82. SouthGobi Resources Ltd., which is 56 percent-owned by Turquoise Hill, rebounded 25 percent to 66 Canadian cents after tumbling 27 percent yesterday when it said falling coal prices may force it to default on debt. SouthGobi is seeking financing to avoid a default.

Potash, Peas

Agrium increased 1.8 percent to C$106.62 after a Globe & Mail report said the fertilizer company may consider selling assets, including its phosphate business. Agrium mines potash, which is used as a root-strengthening crop nutrient.

Legumex Walker dropped 9.8 percent to C$4.49 as the bean and pea processor reported a quarterly loss of 44 Canadian cents a share after the markets closed yesterday. The Winnipeg, Manitoba-based company said it had to use trucks to gets some of its products to market because of a shortage of rail cars.

Copper Mining Mountain Corp. added 8.9 percent to C$2.20 after saying in a statement that construction was moving forward on a new secondary ore crusher at its mine in British Columbia.

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