Energy sector helps lift Toronto, while U.S. stock markets rise; Loonie up

TORONTO _ The energy sector helped Canada’s main stock index close higher, while the loonie soared after the latest rate announcement by the Bank of Canada.

The Canadian central bank kept its key interest rate on hold at 1.25 per cent, but its comments increased market expectations that it would raise the rate in July. The Canadian dollar averaged 77.54 cents US, up 0.74 of a US cent.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 126.05 points at 16,048.66, led by energy and base metals.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed the session up 306.33 points at 24,667.78. The S&P 500 index rose 34.15 points to close at 2,724.01 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 65.86 points at 7,462.45.

The July crude contract was US$1.48 higher at US$68.21 per barrel and the July natural gas contract was down two cents at US$2.88 per mmBTU.

The August gold contract ended up US$2.40 to US$1,306.50 an ounce and the July copper contract rose one cent to close at US$3.07 a pound.