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Canadian Stocks Reaching Best Levels Since January, Led By Mining, Technology Shares

Canadian stocks are higher today, with the S&P/TSX Composite Index adding over 70 points, or about 0.6% - returning to its best levels since late January, buoyed by higher gold prices and positive jobs data out of the United States, Canada's main trading partner.

Mining stocks are pacing today's gains, with shares of gold mining companies climbing a combined 2% with a modest rebound in precious metal prices. Energy stocks also are performing well, up about 0.8% as a group, although shares have backed away their session highs in recent minutes after the U.S. government's weekly inventory report showed a 3.8-mln-barrel rise in crude oil supplies last week, significantly higher than industry forecasts looking for a 500,000-barrel rise.

Tech stocks also are posting strong gains, with six of the seven stocks making up the S&P/TSX Capped Information Technology index trading higher today. Blackberry (BB.TO, BBRY) shares are up more than 5% after an analyst at Pacific Crest reportedly said in a research note there is growing evidence the company's new Z10 smartphone has gained between 5% to 8% of the U.K. smartphone market since hitting shelves last month.

Also today, Wi-Lan Inc. (WIN.TO,WILN) has recovered earlier losses and is now up about 2% this afternoon after reporting adjusted Q4 earnings of $0.06 per share, down from $0.14 in the year-ago quarter and missing analyst forecasts by a penny. The mobile technology company also raised its quarterly dividend by 14% to $0.04 per share.

In other company news, Methanex Corp. (MX.TO, MEOH) is up abut 2% and has hit new year highs after saying it plans to boost operating capacity at its New Zealand operations by 700,000 metric tons by the end of the year as well as increasing capacity at its Motunui site by another 200,000 tons a year. The cost of the two projects is about $65 million.

Pembina PipelinesCorp. (PPL.TO, PBA) last night announced plans for a C$1 billion expansion of its natural gas liquids infrastructure. PBA shares are up about 2.9% and have hit 52 week highs.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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