Bloomberg News

Canadian Stocks Rally on Oil Gain, Higher IMF Forecast

April 17, 2012

Canadian stocks rallied following a two-day drop as energy producers advanced after the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of Canada said economic growth will be faster than they had previously forecast.

Suncor Energy Inc. (SU), Canada’s largest oil and gas producer, rose 2 percent. Uranium producer Denison Mines Corp. (DML) jumped 17 percent after agreeing to sell its U.S. mining assets. Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC), North America’s third-largest insurer, rose 2.6 percent. Planemaker Bombardier Inc. (BBD/B) advanced 3.3 percent after saying its maintenance and spare-parts unit may double revenue in the next five to seven years.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index (SPTSX) increased 99.35 points, or 0.8 percent, to 12,136.94 in Toronto.

“The Canadian numbers came out from the Bank of Canada, and they indicate that we’ll see a little inflation, that the economy is a little stronger,” Irwin Michael, a portfolio manager at ABC Funds in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. Michael’s firm oversees C$1 billion ($1 billion). “It picked up the Canadian dollar. People are maybe a tad too negative and it doesn’t take too much to move things along.”

The S&P/TSX had its seventh straight weekly decline in the five days ending April 13, its longest losing streak since 2008, as weaker-than-forecast U.S. jobs numbers and reports of slowing growth in China raised concern that demand may slip for Canadian commodities. The U.S. is the world’s biggest consumer of oil, while China is the number one user of copper.

Growth Forecasts

The IMF raised its global growth forecast for the first time in a year, estimating a 3.5 percent expansion in 2012, compared with its January projection of 3.3 percent. It estimated the U.S. will grow 2.1 percent this year.

The Canadian central bank kept its main interest rate unchanged at 1 percent for a 13th time, while saying higher borrowing costs “may become appropriate” because economic growth and inflation will be faster than it forecast.

Energy companies rose after oil climbed in New York as Spain raised more than its maximum target at a debt auction, easing concern that Europe’s credit crisis will spread and slow economic growth. Spain sold 3.18 billion euros of bills.

Suncor Energy Inc. climbed 2 percent to C$31.43. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ) increased 2.3 percent to C$32.65. Imperial Oil Ltd. (IMO), Canada’s second-largest energy company, gained 2 percent to C$45.11.

Manulife, TD Bank

Financial stocks in the S&P/TSX increased for a second day on the IMF forecast. Manulife Financial Corp. gained 2.6 percent to C$13.28. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD), the country’s second-largest lender, rose 1 percent to C$83.56.

Bombardier Inc. advanced 3.3 percent to C$4.12 after saying it plans to double revenue for its maintenance and spare-parts unit to $3 billion annually by expanding into emerging markets such as Russia and China.

Denison Mines, the operator of three U.S. uranium mines, surged 17 percent to C$1.65 after Energy Fuels Inc. agreed to acquire the assets for about C$111 million ($112 million) in stock.

Uranium One Inc. (UUU), a mining company controlled by Moscow- based ARMZ Uranium Holding, climbed 13 percent to C$3 after being rated overweight in new coverage by JPMorgan. The rating means that the firm expects the stock to outperform the average total return of the stocks in the analyst’s coverage universe over the next six to 12 months.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joseph Ciolli in New York at jciolli@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael P. Regan at mregan12@bloomberg.net


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