Canadian Stocks Rise as Energy Producer Gains Offset Gold Slump

Canadian stocks rose, with the benchmark equity index gaining for a third week, as a rally in energy shares offset a slump in raw-materials producers.

BlackPearl Resources Inc. and Enerplus Corp. climbed at least 5.8 percent to lead energy shares higher. Magna International Inc., North America’s largest auto-parts maker, added 3.6 percent as earnings beat projections. TMX Group Ltd., owner of the Toronto Stock Exchange, fell 3.1 percent after saying first-quarter trading volume dropped and fewer companies sought financings.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index advanced 45.19 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,589.09 at 4 p.m. in Toronto after falling as much as 0.3 percent earlier in the day. The benchmark equity gauge rose 1.2 percent this week. Trading volume was in line with the 30-day average.

Canadian employment rose by 12,500 in April as manufacturers added the most jobs in 11 months, contributing to evidence of a modest expansion. The jobless rate was unchanged at 7.2 percent, a report from Statistics Canada said today. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a gain of 15,000 jobs and 7.2 percent unemployment.

“Given the lack of real clarity in the jobs numbers in Canada, the markets are very mixed,” said Kevin Headland, fund manager with Manulife Asset Management Ltd. in Toronto. He helps manage about C$250 billion ($247 billion) at the firm. “It’s the opposite of the U.S. where we’re getting much better revisions on the jobs front, better economic growth. There’s a lot of mixed messages out of Canada and uncertainty, and people are unsure where to go.”

Energy Rally

Energy shares contributed the most to gains in the S&P/TSX, rising 0.6 percent even as oil prices fell for a second day. Crude futures slid 0.4 percent to settle at $96.04 a barrel as the dollar climbed. Prices fell as much as 3.1 percent during the session.

BlackPearl surged 9.2 percent, the most since July, to $2.37 and Encana Corp. rose 2.8 percent to C$19.32.

Enerplus rallied 5.8 percent to C$15.19 as its first-quarter loss narrowed and the oil and gas exploration company affirmed its 2013 production forecast.

Health-care, technology and consumer-discretionary shares rallied at least 1 percent as eight of 10 industries in the index advanced. BlackBerry, the smartphone maker, added 1.4 percent to C$15.71.

Magna International gained 3.6 percent to a record C$65.46. The company raised its 2013 sales forecast and reported first-quarter earnings and sales that topped analysts’ estimates.

Gold Slump

Raw-materials producers slid 0.3 percent as a group. Gold fell 2.2 percent, the biggest drop in more than three weeks, to settle at $1,436.60. Silver prices also retreated.

Semafo Inc. lost 2.4 percent to C$2.03, paring an earlier decline of as much as 7.7 percent. Iamgold Corp. dropped 2.6 percent to C$5.74.

TMX Group declined 3.1 percent to C$51.30. Trading on TMX’s equity markets, including the Toronto Stock Exchange, fell 22 percent to about 38.5 billion shares in the quarter from a year earlier. The company’s first-quarter profit matched analyst estimates.

Chorus Aviation Inc. plunged the most in the benchmark index, losing 21 percent to C$2.89. The regional airline cut its quarterly dividend in half, to 7.5 Canadian cents a share from 15 cents.

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