Canadian Stocks Rise Fourth Day as Gold's Jump Boosts Miners

  • S&P/TSX less than 1% away from erasing losses for 2016
  • Gold jumps, sending producers to biggest rally since October

Canadian stocks rose, sending the nation’s benchmark to the precipice of erasing declines for the year, as a rally in gold boosted miners of the precious metal.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 0.5 percent to 12,931.36 at 4:00 p.m. in Toronto, capping a four-day gain that’s lifted the benchmark to its highest level this year.

The index has pared losses for the year to 0.6 percent, making it the best-performing developed market out of 24 benchmarks tracked by Bloomberg, after it was among the worst in 2015. While the resource-rich gauge has been whipsawed by swings in oil and commodity prices, a rebound in those sectors has lifted the measure from a low last month. Investors are also monitoring corporate results, with some 20 companies in the index reporting results on Thursday.

Gold prices shot up 1.8 percent higher today, as investors sought havens amid signs the global glut in crude may continue. Twenty out of 21 members in a gauge of S&P/TSX gold miners advanced, as the measure jumped the most since October.

Barrick Gold Corp. gained 6.8 percent to its highest level since September 2014, after posting better-than-expected earnings and saying it intends to cut at least $2 billion debt this year. Kinross Gold Corp. added 8.1 percent, even after becoming the latest miner to have its credit rating cut to junk. Standard & Poor’s on Thursday lowered its rating to BB+ from BBB-.

Meanwhile, copper miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd. tumbled 11 percent. The stock was cut by BMO Capital Markets and Canaccord Genuity to the equivalent of a hold, following the stock’s 67 percent rally in the last three days.

Consumer staples and discretionary companies also rose. Cott Corp., a beverage maker, jumped 7.3 percent after unexpectedly posting a fourth-quarter profit of 3 cents a share. Analysts had estimated a loss of 2 cents.

Canadian Tire Corp. rallied 7.8 percent to its highest price since Dec. 7, after announcing a share buyback of up to 6 million Class A shares.

Utility shares also advanced. Fortis Inc. added 1.3 percent after the company posted quarterly earnings that beat analysts’ estimate.

Industrial companies were little changed. Finning International Inc. slumped 1.9 percent, after earlier tumbling as much as 9.3 percent, following the company’s disappointing quarterly results and announcement of a cut of between 400 and 500 jobs. Bombardier Inc. climbed 2.8 percent after Credit Suisse Group AG raised the troubled aircraft maker to the equivalent of a buy rating.

Energy companies fell the most among the 10 main sectors in S&P/TSX composite, as West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for oil, pared gains to close below $31 a barrel after a reporting showing U.S. crude inventories rose to an 86-year high. Encana Corp. sank 9 percent.

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