- Energy producers have rallied 15 percent in five days
- Encana advances after unveiling asset sale plan to lower debt
Canadian stocks rose for a fifth day, the longest streak in two months, as energy producers jumped after the price of crude surged above $50 a barrel for the first time since July.
Equities advanced 0.8 percent as energy stocks closed at the highest since July 17. Oil has rebounded after slumping to a six-year low in August on speculation that a global supply glut is easing. Equities from Europe to the U.S. also advanced as speculation the Federal Reserve will keep rates lower for longer weakened the U.S. dollar and bolstered commodities.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 110.31 points to 13,978.66 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The benchmark Canadian equity gauge has surged 5.6 percent in five days, the longest streak since Aug. 5. It’s still down by 4.5 percent for the year.
Eight of 10 main groups in the index rose Thursday, led by a 2.2 percent increase in energy producers. Even after a five-day rally, the group remains the second-worst performer in the benchmark index this year, down 13 percent.
Encana Corp. gained 6.5 percent. The producer of natural gas and crude said it will sell assets in Colorado for $900 million lower its debt. Encana hopes to bolster its balance sheet after a 45 percent dip in oil prices in the past year.
Suncor Energy Inc. climbed 4.8 percent and Penn West Petroleum Ltd. surged 26 percent as 50 of 59 stocks in the S&P/TSX Energy Index advanced. West Texas Intermediate jumped 3.4 percent in New York, settling at $49.43 a barrel after touching as high as $50.07.
Demand for crude will climb more this year than previously projected amid cheaper fuel prices, OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla Salem El-Badri said yesterday in a statement to the International Monetary Fund.
Concordia Healthcare Corp. sank 11 percent, closing at the lowest since December. The drugmaker has tumbled 24 percent in five days as the wider industry faces greater political scrutiny over drug pricing.