TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian stocks on Tuesday posted their first gain in four sessions as gold mining and energy shares rallied as well as a windfall deal for Bombardier Inc offset concerns about Europe’s lingering debt crisis.
Stocks on world markets edged higher as battered shares attracted traders, but Spanish bond yields were near euro-era highs on doubts about Madrid’s bank bailout and Sunday’s election in Greece. <MKTS/GLOB>
“Overseas markets were up on views that more pro-growth programs will come to help the euro zone in its current mess,” said Pat McHugh, Canadian equity strategist at Manulife Asset Management. “There’s nothing crazy on the upside or crazy on the downside.”
Eight of Canada’s 10 main sectors finished higher. The heavily weighted materials and energy sectors, up 1.8 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, were the session’s top performers, climbing as gold and U.S. oil prices rebounded after Monday’s sell-off. <GOL/> <O/R>
The most influential gainers included: Suncor Energy (SU.TO), up 2.3 percent to C$28.97; Potash Corp POT.TO, which rose 2.2 percent to C$39.71; Talisman Energy TLM.TO, up 3.9 percent at C$11.23; Goldcorp Inc (G.TO), up 1.4 percent at C$40.46, and Eldorado Gold Corp (ELD.TO), which jumped 4 percent to C$12.48.
A mega jet deal involving Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) also helped keep Canadian stocks in positive territory. Bombardier shares jumped 6 percent to C$3.87 on Tuesday after news that the Canadian planemaker had won a $7.3 billion aircraft order with NetJets, a private jet-sharing company owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N).
“Their business jet business was decent and this is just a cherry on top,” said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets. “It’s the commercial project that is the big question mark and has been the drag on the company.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 95.52 points, or 0.84percent, at 11,497.30. It briefly dipped into negative territory, hitting a session low at 11,385.50.
Optimism was tempered by doubts over a 100 billion euro ($124.57 billion) bailout for Spain’s banks pushed Spanish government bond yields to their highest since the euro was launched in 1999.
Raising the stakes in Europe’s debt crisis, Austria’s finance minister said Italy - the euro zone’s third-largest economy - may need a financial rescue because of its high borrowing costs.
Despite the European headwind, the Canadian financial index rose 0.6 percent. Gains were led by the big banks, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) up 1.1 percent to C$50.52, Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) rising 1.3 percent at C$54.56, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) edging up 0.6 percent to C$78.10.
Concerns that the Greek election on June 17 would bring to power parties opposed to its current bailout plan and force a disorderly exit from the euro zone were rekindled by a report that European Union officials were considering ways to manage the fallout.
“We really do need to see what happens out of the Greece situation,” said McHugh, adding that markets could sell off further if an anti-bailout party triumphs. “Right now people haven’t priced anything into this Greek election.”
In other company news, shares of Agrium Inc AGU.TO rose 4.4 percent to C$84.87 after the fertilizer maker said on Tuesday it expects its second-quarter earnings to be at or near the top of its forecast range due to higher prices for some of its wholesale fertilizer products.
Fortress Paper Inc (FTP.TO) shares tumbled more than 7 percent to C$22 after rating agency Raymond James cut the specialty paper producer’s share price target on Tuesday to C$40 from C$46, a day after the Vancouver-based firm said it was looking at alternatives to arrest sliding sales.
Paramount Resources Ltd’s (POU.TO) shares shed 2.6 percent to C$25.75 after Standard & Poor’s lowered its credit rating on the Canadian natural gas producer because of weak gas prices and the company’s hefty capital spending plans. <ID:NL1E8HC7NF>
($1=$1.03 Canadian dollar)
Editing by Dan Grebler, Gary Crosse