Toronto market makes strong gains on BoC outlook, U.S. markets up slightly

TORONTO _ An optimistic growth outlook from the Bank of Canada and price spikes for key commodities helped Canada’s main stock index surge higher Wednesday, while U.S. markets made mild gains.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 176.67 points at 15,529.97, led by gains in base metals and energy.

In New York, the S&P 500 index ended up 2.25 points at 2,708.64. The Nasdaq composite index was up 14.14 points at 7,295.24 and the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 38.56 points at 24,748.07.

The Canadian dollar averaged 79.28 cents US, down 0.39 of a U.S. cent as the Bank of Canada left rates unchanged.

The June crude contract closed up $1.96 at US$68.47 per barrel and the May natural gas contract was unchanged at US$2.74 per mmBTU.

The June gold contract ended up $4 at US$1,353.50 an ounce and the May copper contract was up eight cents to US$3.16 a pound.