Canadian stocks rose a second day after a report that BHP Billiton Ltd. may make another bid for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., while gold producers fell on lower metal prices.
Potash Corp. climbed 3.3 percent after the Globe and Mail said that while no deal is under way, BHP is likely to consider the transaction. Lumenpulse Inc., which makes lighting fixtures, soared 15 percent in its trading debut. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. rallied 2.9 percent to pace gains among health-care stocks. Detour Gold Corp. and Argonaut Gold Inc. sank at least 5.3 percent as gold prices dropped the most in 16 weeks. Silver Standard Resources Inc. lost 4.4 percent as the price of the metal fell the most in more than a month.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index added 19.49 points, or 0.1 percent, to 14,303.92 at 4 p.m. in Toronto after earlier falling as much as 0.4 percent. The equity benchmark is up 5 percent this year.
“The market is taking a wait-and-see approach,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier Inc. in Toronto. The firm manages about C$4.7 billion ($4.3 billion). “As equities gain more of a shine, some of that shine will come off of gold.”
Valeant Pharmaceuticals increased 2.9 percent to snap three days of losses. Health-care stocks jumped 2.7 percent as a group as eight of 10 industries in the S&P/TSX rose. Trading volume was 9.4 percent higher compared with the 30-day average.
Detour Gold slumped 6.4 percent to C$10.03 and Argonaut Gold retreated 5.3 percent to C$4.13. Detour Gold is the best-performing stock in the S&P/TSX this year with a 145 percent gain.
Potash Corp. climbed 3.3 percent to C$38.30, the biggest increase since March 5. Tim Tiberio, an analyst at Miller Tabak & Co. LLC, said in a note to clients he was “skeptical ” about the timing of speculation of a potential BHP-Potash Corp. link-up, given fertilizer groups are about to enter a seasonally weaker trading period.
Lumenpulse, based in Montreal, jumped 15 percent to C$18.35 in its first day of trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange after completing a C$100 million initial offering at C$16. The company trades under the ticker “LMP” in Toronto.
CGI Group Inc. rallied 2.2 percent to C$36, a one-month high. The IT services provider said it has extended its agreement with Toronto-Dominion Bank to process the firm’s mutual fund transactions until as late as 2026. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Toronto-Dominion was little changed at C$51.23.
Gold fell in New York on speculation that signs of an improving U.S. economy will curb demand for a haven. Gold for June delivery decreased 2 percent to settle at $1,300.30.
Silver Standard Resources tumbled 4.4 percent to C$10.87, the lowest price in two months, and Silvercorp Metals Inc. retreated 3.6 percent to C$2.12. Silver futures for May delivery fell 2.6 percent to $19.489 an ounce in New York.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2 percent, advancing for a third day, as U.S. government data showed consumer prices increased more than forecast and a report yesterday showed better-than-estimated growth in American retail sales.