S&P/TSX composite closes above 16,000 mark for the first time, loonie up

TORONTO _ The Toronto stock index closed above the 16,000 mark for the first time today, despite modest declines on Wall Street.

The S&P/TSX composite index rose 49.27 points to 16,002.78, boosted by the health-care and energy sectors.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 85.45 points to 23,348.74. The S&P 500 index was down 8.24 points to 2,572.83 and the Nasdaq composite index edged back 2.30 points to 6,698.96.

The Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 77.90 cents US, up 0.22 of a U.S. cent.

In commodities, the December crude contract advanced 25 cents to US$54.15 per barrel and the December natural gas contract was unchanged at US$2.97 per mmBTU.

The December gold contract was up US$5.90 to US$1,277.70 an ounce and the December copper contract added a penny at US$3.11 a pound.