Materials sector helps lift TSX; Loonie climbs above 78 cents US

TORONTO – Base metals and materials helped push Canada’s main stock index higher Thursday, while the Canadian dollar continued to climb along with oil prices.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 48.69 points at 15,959.50.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 196.99 points at 24,739.53. The S&P 500 index ended up 25.28 points at 2,723.07 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 65.06 points at 7,404.97.

The Canadian dollar averaged 78.28 cents US, up 0.50 of a cent from Wednesday.

The June crude contract closed up 22 cents at US$71.36 per barrel and the June natural gas contract was up eight cents at US$2.81 per mmBTU.

The June gold contract ended up $9.30 at US$1,322.30 an ounce and the July copper contract was up five cents at US$3.11 a pound.