Canadian Stocks Rise a 2nd Day on Rate Optimism After Jobs Data

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Canadian stocks rose a second day, paring a weekly loss, after jobs data from Canada and the U.S. spurred speculation central banks won’t raise interest rates soon.

Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank increased at least 0.4 percent to pace gains among the nation’s largest lenders. Gran Tierra Energy Inc. added 1.6 percent after agreeing to demands from investor West Face Capital Inc. to expand the company board and appoint a new chief executive officer.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 81.20 points, or 0.5 percent, to 15,170.02 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The gauge has retreated 1.1 percent this week, for a second straight week of declines.

“The bounce in oil has bought us some time,” said Frank Maeba, managing partner at Breton Hill Capital Ltd. in Toronto. His firm manages about C$930 million ($768 million). “Longer term the central bank will take a more dovish stance. It’s reassessing information as we go on, but in general the trajectory is keeping easing into the future.”

Canada lost 19,700 jobs in April on the biggest drop in part-time work in four years. Employment fell the most since August and the jobless rate remained at 6.8 percent for a third month, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a 5,000 job decrease and the jobless rate to rise to 6.9 percent.

U.S. payrolls rebounded in April with a 223,000 net increase in employment following the smallest gain since June 2012 in March. The jobless rate fell to the lowest since May 2008. The rebound in hiring bolsters optimism economic growth is accelerating in the U.S. at a pace slow enough to keep the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates in June.

AutoCanada Inc. jumped 20 percent, the biggest gain since November 2009, as consumer discretionary stocks climbed 1 percent as a group. Trading volume was 7.1 percent higher than the 30-day average as eight of 10 industries advanced.

AutoCanada said it was in talks with acquisition targets and in position to report two deals in 45 days, while also reporting first-quarter profit ahead of estimates.

Energy companies jumped 1.3 percent for the biggest gain among groups. Crew Energy Inc. and Bonavista Energy Corp. climbed more than 11 percent to lead the advance amid a 0.8 percent rebound in oil.

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