By Sarah Pringle, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Canadian stocks rose Friday after ending the previous session at a loss, supported by expectations that the Fed will announce plans for intervention. Buoyed by the metals, mining, and information technology sectors, the composite index rose 0.5%, or 58 points, to close at 11,525.
Hope for further stimulus was the driving force behind gains, said Danielle Park, president and portfolio manager of Venable Park Investment Counsel Inc.
But, Park added, “There are negative surprise risks in the Greek election this weekend and I am not convinced Bernanke and Co. will be ready to announce QE3 this early, so I think risks remain tilted to the downside,” referring to a third round of quantitative easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Canada’s benchmark for metals mining stocks saw a rise of 1.7%. Among highest percentage gainers in the sector were Taseko Mines /zigman2/quotes/201869930/delayed CA:TKO +0.83% , jumping 7.8%, and Thompson Creek Metals , up 8.9%.
Ivanhoe Mines /zigman2/quotes/207656050/delayed CA:IVN 0.00% slid 9.9%. Ivanhoe announced late Thursday its first sale of copper-gold concentrate from the Osborne Copper-Gold Project, based in northwestern Queensland.
Gold for August delivery rose 0.5% to $1,628.10 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, settling higher for a sixth-straight session. .
The information technology sector XX:TORGC194 +0.97% rose by 1.7%, with help from Open Text Corp. , up 2.1%
Research in Motion shares were down 3.6% at the previous session’s close, but a 5.3% climb Friday reversed Thursday’s losses.
Class B shares of Transat , travel agent and tour operator, were down 7% after the company reported second-quarter losses and LB Securities Equities Research lowered its target price by C$3.15 to C$3.85. Transat pointed to increasing hotel and fuel prices, as well as tough competition, for the lower than expected financial results.
Canada’s manufacturing sales for April fell short of expectations, declining 0.8%. The drop was seen most significantly in the petroleum and coal products sectors. In a response issued by Capital Economics, analysts wrote that while the “sluggish U.S. recovery continues to hurt the manufacturing sector’s performance... the drop back in energy prices and depreciation of the Canadian dollar should provide some modest relief, at least for manufacturers.”
Despite disappointing economic news, Canada’s stock market this week tallied gains of 0.2%. The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.24% added 1.3%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.13% rose 1.7% from week ago close.
“Every piece of economic data over the past week has come in significantly under expectations. So bad news is good in a stock and commodity market desperate for more speculation,” said Park.
The Canadian dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561978/realtime/sampled USDCAD -0.2535% rose 0.12%, with the U.S. dollar buying C$1.0219 vs. C$1.0231 Thursday. Year to date, the U.S. dollar has gained 0.06% on Canada’s dollar.