Canadian Stocks Rise as Gold Rally Boosts Miners, Banks Gain

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  • Energy companies retreat as OPEC doesn't cut production
  • Barrick Gold climbs to July high as bullion futures surge

Canadian stocks rose, trimming a weekly decline, as gold miners rallied with the price of the metal and banks advanced.

Raw-material producers rose 3.2 percent as bullion surged the most since April on speculation the Federal Reserve will take a gradual approach when it begins raising interest rates. Energy companies fell 1.7 percent after OPEC signaled it will continue to produce 31.5 million barrels a day, according to a delegate with knowledge of the decision. That sent crude prices below $40 a barrel in New York.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index added 34.10 points, or 0.3 percent, to 13,358.77 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The gauge fell 0.1 percent in the week for a second straight decline.

A Canadian labor market report showed employment fell more than economists forecast in November. Jobs dropped by 35,700 following a gain of 44,400 in October. That compares to a projected decrease of 10,000 jobs, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The unemployment rate rose to 7.1 percent, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa.

Energy companies, which account for more than 18 percent of the nation’s benchmark index, have slumped 24 percent this year. Along with energy stocks, industrial companies also declined Friday. The group fell 1.2 percent, weighed down by railway companies.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. declined 4.1 percent. Norfolk Southern Corp. rejected the company’s $28 billion takeover, saying that even at a sweetened price, a deal would be unlikely to gain regulatory approval.

Metals prices are recovering after the dollar weakened the most in almost nine months on Thursday. Silver Standard Resources Inc. gained 5.7 percent and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. rose 8.3 percent.

Barrick surged to the highest level since July. The world’s largest producer of metal is extending a $4 billion revolver loan by a year and negotiated a covenant change, the company said in a statement Thursday.