Canada Stocks Advance as Financials, Ballard Gains Offset Oil

  • Crude drops as flow continues through Turkey after failed coup
  • Ballard jumps on $168 million deal to make fuel cells in China

Canada’s largest insurance companies rose, helping boosting the nation’s benchmark equity gauge, as Ballard Power Systems Inc. jumped to the highest level in a year after agreeing to a $168-million deal to produce fuel cells in China.

The Canadian equity benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index added 0.4 percent to 14,532.4 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, following three weeks of gains. Trading volume was 40 percent lower than the 30-day average.

Ballard Power soared 44 percent, the biggest gain since February 2015, after agreeing to a deal with Guangdong Nation Synergy Hydrogen Power Technology Co. to manufacture fuel cell stacks in China. The stacks will be built into buses and commercial vehicles in China in the agreement valued at about $168 million over five years. The gains today helped the stock wipe out declines for the year, with Ballard now up 20 percent.

Barrick Gold Corp. and Silver Wheaton Corp. climbed at least 1 percent as raw-materials producers advanced as a group, leading gains among nine of 10 industries in the S&P/TSX. Gold futures for August delivery rose 0.1 percent to settle at $1,329.30 an ounce.

Financial companies Manulife Financial Corp. and Sun Life Financial Inc. also each added 0.6 percent.

Restaurant Brands International Inc., owner of Tim Hortons and Burger King, increased 4.1 percent, to the highest since August. OTR Global has raised its view on Burger King to positive amid strong consumer response to the fast-food chain’s two for $10 whopper meal.

Energy producers ended the day with a 0.2 percent advance, reversing an earlier loss even as crude for August delivery fell 1.6 percent in New York, trading just above $45 a barrel after a failed coup in Turkey as shipments continued through the country. Telecommunications stocks were the only laggards in the S&P/TSX.

North American markets are showing some resilience, shrugging off the conflict in Turkey with the U.S. benchmark S&P 500 Index trading at a record high after three straight weeks of gains. Global equities have rallied after a brief selloff in the wake of the U.K. Brexit vote, with the S&P/TSX trading at the highest level in a year.

Raw-materials producers remain the top-performing industry in Canada this year with a 60 percent increase, the best such performance for the group in at least 30 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Energy stocks have rallied 19 percent on a resurgence in commodities prices from crude to gold.

Amid the volatility Canadian stocks remain more expensive than their U.S. peers, with a price-earnings ratio of 22.4 for the S&P/TSX about 11 percent higher than the S&P 500.

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