Aug. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian stocks rose the most in a month, as banks and energy producers rallied amid data showing growth in the U.S. housing sector and as tensions in Ukraine and Iraq eased.
Bellatrix Exploration Ltd. surged 10 percent after activist investor Orange Capital LLC bought a stake in the oil and gas explorer to seek board changes. Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. rose 1.4 percent after a report the convenience store operator made the short list to buy a $16 billion stake in China’s Sinopec Sales.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 138.70 points, or 0.9 percent, to 15,477.17 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The benchmark equity gauge has climbed 14 percent this year, the second-best performer among the world’s developed markets behind Denmark.
Bellatrix advanced 10 percent to C$8.73. Orange Capital has taken a 5.3 percent stake in the company seeking board changes with an eye to exploring strategic alternatives including a sale, according to regulatory filings.
Orange has been building its position in Bellatrix since July 2 and is the company’s largest shareholder slightly ahead of Fiera Capital Corp., which holds 5.2 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Lumber producer West Fraser Timber Co. increased 6.5 percent to C$53.68 and wood panel maker Norbord Inc. added 6.3 percent to C$23.43 as lumber makers rallied on U.S. housing data.
U.S. home starts surged in July to the highest level in eight months as optimism in the residential real-estate market gains some traction.
Painted Pony Petroleum Ltd. jumped 7.5 percent and Crew Energy Inc. rose 5.2 percent to C$9.94 as energy stocks added 1.6 percent as a group. All 10 industries in the S&P/TSX advanced today.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. climbed 4.1 percent to C$124.51, the biggest gain since June 25. The company’s takeover target, Allergan Inc., approached Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and at least one other company, according to the Wall Street Journal.
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