- S&P/TSX rises most in three weeks to erase Thursday's decline
- Gauge still down 0.3% for week amid slump in cosumer shares
Canadian stocks rose the most in three weeks, as a rally in crude boosted energy producers and a surge in hiring stoked speculation the nation’s central bank will refrain from cutting interest rates further.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Index rose 1 percent to 13,396.73 at 4 p.m. in Toronto as seven of the 10 main industries advanced. The benchmark still fell 0.3 percent for the week, as consumer discretionary and staples companies sank. The Canadian benchmark equity gauge trades at 21.3 times earnings, about 14 percent higher than the 18.6 times earnings valuation of the S&P 500, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
A report today showed Canadian employment rose faster than forecast in March, a big step in erasing the chance the Bank of Canada will cut rates in its April 13 interest-rate decision. Canadian companies joined global stocks in advancing with commodity prices to end a week that’s seen markets whipsaw and currency volatility approach the highest since 2011.
Canada’s largest energy producers led Friday’s rally, adding 2.3 percent to the highest level this month, as all but one of 50 members gained. Enerplus Corp. surged 6.2 percent to the highest since December, while Whitecap Resources Inc. extended a four-day rally in which it gained 14 percent.
Raw-material producers jumped 1.9 percent, rallying for a fourth straight day, as Yamana Gold Inc. jumped 8.4 percent to the highest since May. Shares of industrial and financial companies also rose.
Health-care companies slumped 4.7 percent, dragged lower by a decline of 6.1 percent in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. shares. Consumer-discretionary stocks fell for the fifth time in six days, closing 0.7 percent lower on Friday and bringing month-to-date losses to 3.2 percent.
Analyst downgrades sent at least two stocks lower, as Interfor Corp. tumbled 5.5 percent, the most in almost two months, and Badger Daylighting Ltd. fell 3.5 percent to the lowest level since November.