Canadian Stocks Rally as Energy Shares Soar Amid Rate Decision

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Canadian stocks climbed to a seven-month high, sending the benchmark equities gauge closer to a record, as energy shares soared while the Bank of Canada kept its key interest rate unchanged.

Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. and Surge Energy Inc. jumped more than 9 percent as energy producers led gains among groups in the Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. dropped 3.1 percent for a second day of losses.

The S&P/TSX rose 61.59 points, or 0.4 percent, to 15,450.87 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The gauge is now 1.3 percent from a record reached in September.

Policy makers held the benchmark rate on overnight loans between commercial banks at 0.75 percent for a second straight meeting after a surprise January cut.

Output stalled in the first quarter as lower oil prices hurt incomes and investment, the bank said. Growth will quicken to a quarterly average of about 2.5 percent through mid-2016 with gains in non-energy exports and employment returning in a few months as the “dominant trend.”

Five of 10 main industries in the S&P/TSX rallied. Financial and technology shares gained more than 0.6 percent. Trading in the index’s stocks was 31 percent above the 30-day average at the close.

Energy stocks surged 2 percent as crude prices rose to the highest level of the year after a government report showed that U.S. crude stockpiles climbed by the least since January.

The Bank of Canada said in its statement today that damage from an oil-price shock may already be fading. The drop in crude has triggered layoffs and canceled investments from companies such as Talisman Energy Inc. and Cnooc Ltd.’s Nexen Energy.

Pacific Rubiales soared 15 percent for the best gain among S&P/TSX companies. Surge Energy added 9.5 percent and Trican Well Service Ltd. jumped 8.3 percent. Energy companies, the worst performers in the broader S&P/TSX Composite Index last year, have rebounded 8.7 percent in April, heading for the best monthly performance since 2011.

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