Canadian stocks reached a record for a second day as BCE Inc. agreed to buy the remainder of Bell Aliant Inc. and oil producers advanced amid increasing tensions between government and rebel forces in Ukraine.
Bell Aliant rose 12 percent after BCE agreed to pay C$3.95 billion ($3.68 billion) for the shares it didn’t already own. BCE already controls the Halifax-based phone, TV and Internet service provider through a 44 percent stake. Talisman Energy Inc. advanced 13 percent after saying it has been approached about “various transactions” by Repsol SA.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 79.25 points, or 0.5 percent, to 15,394.38 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The equity index has rallied 13 percent this year.
The S&P/TSX Health Care Index rose 1.4 percent to lead gains as eight of 10 industries in the benchmark equity gauge advanced.
Encana Corp. and Crew Energy Inc. rose at least 2.5 percent as Brent crude oil climbed 0.7 percent to $108.03 a barrel.
Pro-Russian separatists shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets in the same eastern region where Malaysian Air Flight MH17 was destroyed, a Defense Ministry spokesman, Oleksiy Dmytrashkovsky, said by phone.
Canadian retail sales rose 0.7 percent in May, led by record automobile purchases, exceeding the 0.6 percent median forecast of in a Bloomberg economist survey with 16 responses.