- First results in U.K. vote due around 7 p.m. New York time
- Alimentation Couche-Tard boosts consumer staples group
Canadian stocks rallied the most in five weeks, joining rising markets around the globe as investors awaited the outcome of today’s U.K. referendum on membership in the European Union.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 0.9 percent to 14,131.38 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, a two-week high, with eight of 10 main industries in the benchmark gaining. The index is on the way to halting a weekly losing streak at two, advancing 1.7 percent since Friday’s close. A snap-back in commodity prices has pushed the Canadian gauge to the top spot among developed equity markets this year, up 8.6 percent.
Investors worldwide have been glued to Britain’s debate on its EU membership in recent weeks, and past polls have indicated a close race. The first voting results are expected around 7 p.m. New York time. The final ones are due at about 2 a.m. on Friday.
U.S. shares rallied as banks and oil producers also led the S&P 500 Index higher to within 1 percent of its record, while European stocks gained to the highest in three weeks in above-average volume. The pound strengthened to its highest value this year.
Energy companies in Canada climbed 2 percent, with Suncor Energy Inc. increasing 3.8 percent to extend a rally for a sixth session, its longest since November. Enbridge Inc. climbed 1 percent, closing at its highest level since November. West Texas Intermediate crude futures in New York gained after U.S. output and supplies fell.
Royal Bank of Canada added 1.6 percent, the most in five weeks, as the bank plans to hire more investment advisers and may add a robo-advisory platform. Toronto-Dominion Bank and Bank of Nova Scotia rose at least 0.9 percent.
Consumer staples companies advanced 0.9 percent. Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. rallied 1.9 percent, paring its slide this month to 7.8 percent, while Maple Leaf Foods Inc. gained 1.6 percent.
BlackBerry Ltd. increased 3.4 percent, the most since March, after forecasting better-than-expected profit and insisting there was a way to make its ever-shrinking phone business profitable again. Celestica Inc. advanced 0.7 percent, its best in three weeks.
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. rose 1.7 percent, its first back-to-back gain in three weeks, to help boost the industrials group. Bombardier Inc. rose 1 percent after Quebec’s provincial government agreed to invest $1 billion in the C Series jetliner development program, sealing a deal that took eight months to nail down.