Canadian Stocks Rise to 5-Month High as Ainsworth Lumber Gains

Canadian stocks rose, sending the benchmark index to the highest level since March, as forestry and technology shares soared amid optimism over acquisitions while oil companies climbed as a U.S. panel approved military strikes on Syria.

Ainsworth Lumber surged 33 percent after agreeing to sell itself to Louisiana-Pacific Corp. BlackBerry Ltd. gained 2.8 percent on a report the mobile phone maker aims to find a buyer by November. Celestica Inc. rose 1.6 percent after its solar lab unit received approval to provide product testing. Talisman Energy Inc. gained 4.4 percent as oil futures rose. Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank rallied at least 1.5 percent as financial stocks reached a five-year high.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 87.25 points, or 0.7 percent, to 12,845.06 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, the highest close since March 12. The benchmark Canadian equity gauge is up 3.3 percent this year.

“After yesterday’s vote the odds of a military attack rose, therefore that’s why you’re seeing energy prices supported,” said Andrew Pyle, fund manager with ScotiaMcLeod Inc. in Peterborough, Ontario. He manages about C$210 million ($200 million). “The latest U.S. data is also giving the market a lift in economic confidence, which had been waning after the last couple of weeks in the summer.”

Talisman Energy climbed 4.4 percent to C$11.71 and Crew Energy Inc. added 3.6 percent to C$6.11. Oil prices climbed from the lowest price in more than a week after a U.S. Senate panel yesterday voted to authorize President Barack Obama to conduct a limited U.S. military operation against Syria.

U.S. Data

Data today indicated fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week. The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index increased to 58.6, the fastest pace since at least January 2008, from 56 the prior month.

Technology stocks advanced 1.8 percent as a group, as eight of 10 industries in the S&P/TSX gained. Trading volume was 2.9 percent above the 30-day average at this time of the day.

BlackBerry, based in Waterloo, Ontario, added 2.8 percent to C$11.60 for a third day of gains. The smartphone maker held talks with potential bidders and whittled down its target list, Dow Jones said in a report yesterday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Celestica rose 1.6 percent to C$11.66, its highest close since March 2011, after announcing test provider TÜV Rheinland Ptl has audited and approved Celestica’s solar lab in Toronto to provide testing for certification of solar modules.

Banks Rise

Toronto-Dominion Bank surged 1.5 percent to C$91.65, a record high, and Royal Bank added 1.7 percent to C$66.56 as the S&P/TSX Financials Index reached the highest close since December 2007.

Ainsworth Lumber, which produces oriented strand board used in housing construction, jumped 33 percent to C$3.92 after agreeing to a C$906 million ($863 million) sale to Louisiana-Pacific.

Norbord Inc., a competing wood producer, rose 10 percent to C$29.98 and Western Forest Products Inc. advanced 7.2 percent to C$1.49.

Bombardier Inc. jumped 5.5 percent to C$4.98, the biggest gain since May, after the company agreed to sell its Flexjet aircraft flight-share unit to a new company funded by a group led by Directional Aviation Capital. The group will order 85 business jets worth a minimum of $1.8 billion from Bombardier, with options for 160 more jets that would push the total value to $5.2 billion, Bombardier said.