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Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian stocks rose, completing the biggest weekly rally in two years, as a rescue plan for Europe took shape and U.S. retail sales beat forecasts, spurring optimism on the economy.
Suncor Energy Inc., the country’s largest energy company, advanced 5.3 percent as oil and gas futures climbed. Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s biggest gold producer, rose 1.6 percent as precious metals gained. Manulife Financial Corp., North America’s fourth-largest insurer, increased 3.9 percent, leading a gain in its industry.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index advanced 169.84 points, or 1.4 percent, to 12,081.73. The index climbed 4.3 percent this week, the biggest weekly gain since October 2009.
“The uncertainty about the economy is coming from Europe,” Andrew Pyle, an associate portfolio manager at Bank of Nova Scotia, said in a telephone interview from Peterborough, Ontario. Pyle’s team oversees about C$200 million ($197 million). “Anything that suggests that situation is coming to a resolution, that would offset some of the negative drag on growth and give a boost to stocks.”
The S&P/TSX has surged since closing at a 14-month low of 11,177.91 on Oct. 4 as oil and metals have risen on speculation European officials will craft a new plan to prevent a worsening of the continent’s debt crisis. Energy and raw-materials companies make up 47 percent of Canadian stocks by market value, according to Bloomberg data.
The Group of 20 may increase the International Monetary Fund’s lending resources to address the crisis, according to three G-20 and IMF officials who declined to be named because the discussions are private. G-20 finance ministers and central bankers began meetings in Paris today.
U.S. retail sales increased 1.1 percent in September, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Economists had forecast a gain of 0.7 percent, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Canadian manufacturing sales advanced 1.4 percent in August, beating all 21 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists, Statistics Canada said today.
The S&P/TSX Energy Index ended the week with its biggest gain since May 2009 as crude advanced to a three-week high and natural gas rallied the most since March.
Suncor climbed 5.3 percent to C$30.69. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., the country’s second-largest energy company by market value, rose 3.8 percent to C$32.94. Western Canadian oil producer PetroBakken Energy Ltd. surged 8.6 percent to C$8.47 to extend its weekly jump to 23 percent, the biggest since it began trading in October 2009.
Raw-materials producers gained with metals as the U.S. Dollar Index had its biggest weekly loss since May 2009. Barrick increased 1.6 percent to C$48.76. Goldcorp Inc., the world’s second-biggest gold producer by market value, rose 1.3 percent to C$48.53. Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., which is building a copper and gold mine in Mongolia with Rio Tinto Group, rallied 5 percent to C$18.12 as copper completed its biggest weekly advance since July 1.
Insurance companies in the S&P/TSX completed their biggest weekly gain since February. Manulife advanced 3.9 percent to C$12.94 to extend its weekly surge to 8.9 percent. Sun Life Financial Inc., Canada’s third-biggest insurer, climbed 2.1 percent to C$26.45. Intact Financial Corp., Canada’s largest property and casualty insurer, increased 2 percent to C$57.03.
The S&P/TSX has gained or lost at least 100 points for seven-straight days, one day short of the record set in October 2000 and matched in January 2009.
--With assistance from Sandrine Rastello in Washington. Editors: Jeff Sutherland, Stephen Kleege
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