TSX, U.S. markets up as oil hits three year high; Loonie down

TORONTO _ The price of oil settled above US$70 per barrel for the first time in more than three years today, giving Toronto’s main stock index a boost.

The June crude contract soared US$1.01 to US$70.73 per barrel. It last closed above the US$70 mark on Nov. 26, 2014.

The jump in oil prices lifted the energy sector on the Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index, and the S&P/TSX composite index advanced 79.23 points to 15,808.63.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 94.81 points to 24,357.32. The S&P 500 index rose 9.21 points to 2,672.63 and the Nasdaq composite index moved up 55.59 points to 7,265.21.

The Canadian dollar was trading at 77.74 cents US, down 0.01 of a U.S. cent.

Elsewhere in commodities, the June natural gas contract gained three cents to US$2.74 per mmBTU. The June gold contract fell 60 cents to US$1,314.10 an ounce and the July copper contract retreated about a penny to roughly US$3.08 a pound.