Canada Stocks Rise a 2nd Day as Insurers, Metal Producers Rally

Canadian stocks rose a second day, reaching a more than two-year high, as base metals producers rallied after the World Bank raised its global growth forecast and insurance companies led financial shares higher.

Sun Life Financial Inc. and Manulife Financial Corp. advanced at least 1.5 percent to pace gains among financial stocks. Copper Mountain Mining Corp. added 6.3 percent after reporting improved production in the fourth quarter. NuVista Energy Ltd. climbed 3.5 percent as crude prices advanced for a second day. DragonWave Inc., a network equipment maker, soared 26 percent after announcing a deal to sell its services into the Chinese market.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 80.20 points, or 0.6 percent, to 13,772.58 at 4 p.m. in Toronto for the highest close since May 2011. The benchmark equity gauge has advanced 1.1 percent this year.

“We’ve seen some positivity in the markets the last couple of days, we’re trading in line with the U.S. today,” said Brian Huen, fund manager at Red Sky Capital Management Ltd. in Toronto. His firm manages about C$225 million ($205.6 million). “The banks are a barometer for the market, when the banks do well the rest of the market does well. We’re positive on financials.”

Sun Life, Manulife

Eight of 10 industries in the S&P/TSX advanced on trading volume 25 percent higher than the 30-day average. Financial stocks account for nearly 35 percent of the S&P/TSX, the largest single industry group by weighting, followed by energy at almost 25 percent.

Sun Life Financial rose 1.5 percent to C$38.20 and Manulife Financial increased 1.8 percent to C$21.96 to pace a 0.5 percent advance among financial stocks.

Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canada’s largest lender by assets, added 0.3 percent to C$97.60 and Royal Bank of Canada, the second-largest, gained 0.2 percent to C$71.06.

Materials producers rallied 1.7 percent, the most in the S&P/TSX. The group has gained on all but two of the 11 sessions this year.

Copper prices advanced in London on speculation that an improving global economy will increase demand, as the World Bank raised this year’s growth forecast to 3.2 percent from 3 percent. Nickel also advanced.

Metals Miners

Copper Mountain Mining jumped 6.3 percent to C$1.68. The company said output of copper, gold and silver last quarter was the most since the mine began operations.

Lundin Mining Corp. rose 4.3 percent to C$4.91 and First Quantum Minerals Ltd. increased 4.2 percent to C$19.40 as the price of copper erased earlier losses in London.

Thompson Creek Metals Co. climbed 12 percent to C$3.16. The stock has rallied 33 percent in the past two sessions, the biggest two-day advance since September 2006, after Bank of America raised its rating on the stock to buy from underperform.

NuVista Energy advanced 3.5 percent to C$7.47 and Bankers Petroleum Ltd. rose 1.4 percent to C$4.51. Crude for February delivery advanced 1.7 percent in New York to settle at $94.17 a barrel after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said stockpiles decreased more than five times as much as forecast.

DragonWave surged 26 percent to C$1.95, the biggest increase since April. The Ottawa-based company has signed a strategic sales agreement with China’s Xi’an Potevio Communications, focused on sales and distribution in China.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. climbed 2.5 percent to C$38.46 for the highest close since July, after a report from researcher Fertecon Ltd. said producer OAO Uralkali is seeking to raise prices for the potash fertilizer in Brazil and China to $350 a ton.

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