Canada Stocks Rise, Extend 17-Month High on Strong Retail Sales

  • Gas bar operator Couche-Tard climbs after boosting dividend
  • Retail sales rose 0.6 percent in September meeting projections

TSX Movers: Bombardier, Gran Tierra, Nevsun Resources

Canadian stocks rose a fourth day to reach the highest level in 17 months, as major banks and consumer staples advanced with retail sales posting the biggest one-month gain since April.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 0.4 percent to 15,100.38 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, trading at the highest level since June 2015. The equity benchmark is up 16 percent in 2016, making it the top performer among developed markets tracked by Bloomberg. Canadian shares are about 11 percent more expensive than their peers in the S&P 500 Index.

Canada’s equity benchmark joined gains around the world as the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 19,000 for the first time. The MSCI All-Country World Index of developed and developing markets is up 3.6 percent this year and is headed for its biggest annual increase since 2013. Copper posted the highest closing price in 16 months to pace gains in metals as emerging markets advanced.

Canadian retail businesses posted a 0.6 percent rise in sales in September, the biggest gain since April and in line with forecasts, in what may be one of the first indications the government’s new child benefits are being spent. Retailer Hudson’s Bay Co. added 0.4 percent to halt a five-day slide.

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., the gas station and convenience store operator, rose 0.9 percent for a second up day after boosting its quarterly dividend. Couche-Tard also reported second-quarter earnings and sales that were short of estimates.

Financial services stocks, which account for about a third of the S&P/TSX, climbed 0.4 percent while raw-materials producers gained 1.2 percent to pace gains in the index. Gold prices advanced a second day.

Gaming company Amaya Inc. retreated 6 percent, the biggest drop in five weeks. A Dubai investment firm, KBC Aldini Capital Ltd., denied it’s backing a $6.7 billion offer by Amaya founder David Baazov to take the gaming company private and said it has filed a complaint with U.S. securities regulators, the Globe and Mail reported.

Energy producers slipped 0.2 percent, one of three industries lagging the index. Crude prices fell, trading near $48 a barrel in New York. Investors are awaiting the results of an official meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Nov. 30 in Vienna discussing a deal to cut back on production to balance supply. Talks Tuesday didn’t resolve the question of whether Iraq and Iran will participate in any production cuts.

Natural resource producers are the top-performing companies in the Canadian market this year, with materials stocks climbing 42 percent on a rebound in commodities prices from gold to crude. Investors have shrugged off a series of market surprises -- from the U.K. Brexit vote in June to Trump’s surprise U.S. presidential win earlier in November -- to propel global markets higher.

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