Canadian Stocks Rise as U.S. Retail Sales Increase, Gold Gains

Canadian stocks rose, rebounding from the worst weekly loss since January, as U.S. retail sales grew the most since 2012 and gold reached a three-week high.

Torex Gold Resources Inc. surged 4.8 percent to lead an advance in gold mining companies. Air Canada’s Class B shares jumped 3.4 percent after Cowen and Co. LLC analysts gave the stock a buy rating. Telus Corp. declined 0.5 percent, helping lead phone company shares lower.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 26.74 points, or 0.2 percent, to 14,284.43 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The gauge slipped 0.9 percent last week and is up about 4.9 percent for the year. Trading in S&P/TSX stocks was about 7.8 percent below the 30-day average at the close.

“It wasn’t the greatest week in the markets last week,” Jeff Young, who oversees about C$900 million ($820 million) as chief investment officer of NexGen Financial Corp., said by phone from Toronto. “Retail sales were a little bit better. People are worried about growth really slowing down with the weakness in the first quarter and there are questions on how much of it is weather. Clearly, this is a positive for the market.”

Sales Advance

The 1.1 percent advance in U.S. retail sales exceeded the median projection in a Bloomberg survey and followed a 0.7 percent gain in February that was bigger than previously reported, Commerce Department figures showed today.

Both Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose to five-week highs as tension escalated between Ukraine and Russia, the world’s biggest energy exporter. Brent futures advanced 1.6 percent to $109.07 a barrel in London and WTI added 0.3 percent to $104.05 in New York.

Gold bullion for June delivery added 0.6 percent to $1,327.50 an ounce on the Comex in New York, the highest on a closing basis since March 21. The metal has rallied 10 percent in 2014, rebounding from the biggest annual drop since 1981.

Eight of 10 main industries in the S&P/TSX advanced. Energy shares jumped 1.3 percent, while technology shares rose 0.9 percent.

Gold Gains

The S&P/TSX Gold Index jumped 1 percent. Torex added 4.8 percent to C$1.09 for the biggest gain among bullion producers. Iamgold Corp. surged 3.4 percent to C$3.98 and Oceanagold Corp. increased 2.8 percent to C$2.56.

Oil and gas explorers in the S&P/TSX added 0.2 percent as a group. Surge Energy Inc. surged 3.5 percent to C$6.82 and Transglobe Energy Corp. climbed 2.9 percent to C$8.12. Penn West Petroleum Ltd. jumped 2.8 percent to C$9.72.

Air Canada rose 3.4 percent to C$7.39. Cowen analyst Helane Becker initiated the carrier’s rating at outperform, the equivalent of buy, with a C$10.50 target price. Air Canada shares are down 0.3 percent this year after gaining 323 percent in 2013, the most among stocks in the S&P/TSX.

Sherritt International Corp. soared 9.3 percent to C$4.70, the highest level since May 2013. Scotia Capital Inc. analyst Orest Wowkodaw upgraded the nickel producer to sector outperform, the equivalent of buy, from sector perform, the equivalent of hold.

Telus dropped 0.5 percent to C$37.85. Scotia analyst Jeffrey Fan downgraded the stock to sector perform from sector outperform. Telus shares have gained 3.5 percent this year.

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