Canadian stocks advanced for a fifth day, as gains in banks and consumer companies offset declines by oil producers in a holiday-shortened trading session.
Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Nova Scotia increased as financial services companies rose 0.5 percent as a group. Pop and bottled water maker Cott Corp., the fourth best-performing stock in the Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index this year, added 1.7 percent.
The S&P/TSX added 0.3 percent, or 33.67 points, to 13,318.58 at 10:44 a.m. in Toronto, rising for the fifth consecutive day, its longest wining streak since Oct. 8. Volume in the gauge was 45 percent lower than the 30-day average at this time of the day.
The equity benchmark has rallied 2.3 percent this week. The S&P/TSX will close at 1 p.m. today for the Christmas holiday and will re-open on Dec. 29.
Goldcorp Inc. and Barrick Gold Corp. rose at least 1.2 percent as the metal climbed after two days of losses. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell a fifth day, the longest run of declines since April, making commodities including gold more attractive.
Energy producers slipped 0.8 percent as a group to halt a two-day rally. The industry remains the worst-performing among 10 in the S&P/TSX this year, down 24 percent as slowing economic growth in China and Europe and a supply glut in crude battered commodities prices around the world.
Dominion Diamond Corp. added 0.7 percent after two directors resigned for personal reasons, the company said. The diamond mining company has jumped 17 percent this week after coming under pressure for change from a group of investors led by Toronto-based hedge fund K2 & Associates Investment Management.
Equity valuations in the S&P/TSX have declined 9.5 percent to about 20.5 times earnings from a 2015 high of 22.7 on April 15, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The S&P/TSX is among the worst-performing developed equity markets this year, ahead of only Singapore and Greece. The benchmark is down 1.1 percent for December and 9 percent for the year, headed for the worst annual retreat since 2011.