- S&P/TSX index up more than 2.7 percent since low on Dec. 14
- Raw-materials stocks jumped as the price of metals rose
Canadian stocks were little changed Monday as an advance in materials shares was offset by losses in energy and utilities companies.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index ticked up to 13,034.38 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The gauge erased an early gain of 0.9 percent and traded lower for most of the afternoon before rebounding into the close. The index has advanced 2.7 percent since slumping on Dec. 14 to its lowest level since October 2013. Trading Monday was 13 percent below the average of the past 30 days.
Canada’s equity benchmark -- 30 percent of which is commodity producers -- has had the third-worst returns year to date of all developed nations, only faring better than Greece and Singapore. Energy producers and miners diverged Monday.
Raw-materials producers jumped 0.7 percent as the U.S. dollar, the currency used around the world to buy and sell most commodities, weakened for the second straight session against a basket of its peers. China, the world’s biggest consumer of resources, signaled it may step up stimulus.
First Majestic Silver Corp. and Hudbay Minerals Inc. jumped at least 4.7 percent as First Quantum Minerals Ltd. and Teck Resources Ltd. each climbed at least 3.7 percent.
Energy producers in the S&P/TSX slumped 0.9 percent as crude oil slid for a fourth straight day. Gran Tierra Energy Inc. and Penn West Petroleum Ltd. lost at least 3.7 percent as brent crude slumped to the lowest price since mid-2004 amid speculation suppliers around the world will exacerbate a glut in oil.
Utilities shares also weakened, losing 1.2 percent as Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners LP lost 4.2 percent after climbing 12 percent in the previous four sessions. Atco Ltd shares dropped 1.8 percent.
Shares of consumer staples companies climbed 0.7 percent on the back of gains in Jean Coutu Group Inc. and Cott Corp., with gains of at least 1.9 percent. Saputo Inc., a manufacturer of dairy and grocery products, jumped 1.5 percent.