Canadian Stocks Rise for Second Day as Encana Paces Energy Rally

Canadian stocks rose for a second day, extending gains after the worst weekly loss since June for the Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index, as Encana Corp. paced advances among energy producers.

Encana jumped 2 percent after reporting first-quarter profits that beat analysts’ estimates. Aurora Oil & Gas Ltd. soared 6.2 percent after Baytex Energy Corp. increased its offer for the company. Pembina Pipeline Corp. climbed 2.1 percent amid an analyst upgrade. Hudson’s Bay Co. declined 3.3 percent as some of its shareholders sold a combined 10 percent stake.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index added 24.87 points, or 0.2 percent, to 14,679.81 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The equity gauge, which lost 1.6 percent last week, has climbed 7.8 percent this year.

“The big question for investors is the progress in the U.S. economy,” David Baskin, president of Baskin Financial Services in Toronto, said in a phone interview. The firm manages C$650 million ($600 million). “Are we going to see more robust growth in the second quarter? We’re broadly constructive. We still think there are still good quality companies available at reasonable value. We’re buyers rather sellers at this time.”

Retail sales in the U.S. climbed 0.1 percent last month after a revised 1.5 percent surge in March that was the biggest since March 2010, Commerce Department figures showed today. The median forecast of 83 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.4 percent advance in April.

Group Returns

Six of 10 main industries in the S&P/TSX advanced. Energy shares climbed 0.5 percent. The group lost 2.6 percent last week, the most since June.

Encana advanced 2 percent to C$25.09. Canada’s largest natural gas producer returned to a first-quarter profit as prices for the heating and power-plant fuel rose.

Aurora jumped 6.2 percent to C$4.26. Baytex raised its bid for the Australian company by 10 cents to A$4.20 a share from an initial offer in February, winning the backing of the target’s two biggest shareholders. Shares of Baytex slipped 0.4 percent to C$45.40.

Pembina Pipeline Corp. climbed 2.1 percent to C$45.48. The distributor of petroleum products was raised to buy from hold at Canaccord Genuity Corp.

Hudson’s Bay dropped 3.3 percent to C$17.50. The company that owns Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor said some of its shareholders agreed to sell C$140 million of stock.

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