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Bulls Rush Into ‘Big Six’ Banks With $39 Billion Surge in Canada

Divya Balji and Doug Alexander
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Bulls Rush Into ‘Big Six’ Banks With $39 Billion Surge in Canada

(Bloomberg) -- Canada’s biggest banks are finally pulling their weight.

Shares of the nation’s largest lenders, known as the “Big Six,” are staging a comeback amid the central bank’s resistance to cutting interest rates. Over the last three months, the stocks have climbed 12% -- almost doubling the rally in the country’s benchmark equity index -- for an increase of C$52 billion ($39 billion) in value.

Canadian banks have rallied in November even after some disappointing economic reports. While the nation is nowhere near peak growth, data so far this year have been strong enough to keep policy makers from lowering borrowing costs. A report on Friday showed retail sales beat economist estimates, reinforcing the Bank of Canada’s view that the consumer remains resilient despite global trade tensions.

The strong economic data and the absence of rate cuts are “all very positive news for the Canadian banking sector, and over the past few months, have translated into solid market gains,” Meny Grauman, an analyst at Cormark Securities, said in a note to clients.

Another potential driver for the shares is the banks’ upcoming fiscal fourth-quarter results. They’re expected to post an average 4% increase in adjusted earnings-per-share, according to the median of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That’s down from the average of 5.2% growth reported in the previous quarter.

Read more on our quarterly Canadian bank earnings preview here

“The banks, because of the positioning that they have in Canada, are kind of protected species,” said John Kinsey, a money manager at Caldwell Securities in Toronto. “They seem to do rather well no matter what.”

Here’s our weekly wrap of what happened in Canada.

Just The Numbers

Chart of The Week

Politics

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled his new cabinet as he started a second term in power after losing parliamentary majority. In total, Trudeau named 36 cabinet ministers, half of them women. For the complete list of his cabinet, read this.

A strike at Canadian National Railway Co. put pressure on Trudeau to take action amid curtailing shipments from one the world’s biggest exporters of raw materials.

Economy

Poloz, speaking during an onstage interview in Toronto, said the economy is doing well overall, driven by housing and services, while inflation is on target. He said Canadian monetary policy right now remains stimulative, tempering market expectations for a reduction in borrowing costs at the central bank’s Dec. 4 rate decision.

All eyes will now be on third-quarter gross domestic product data due Nov. 29. A day earlier, current-account figures will be released.

#TrendingInCanada

Toronto Maple Leafs won 3-1 against the Arizona Coyotes under new leadership as Sheldon Keefe won his first game coaching in the NHL.

--With assistance from Aoyon Ashraf.

To contact the reporters on this story: Divya Balji in Toronto at dbalji1@bloomberg.net;Doug Alexander in Toronto at dalexander3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Madeleine Lim at mlim131@bloomberg.net, ;Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Rita Nazareth, Dave Liedtka

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