North American equity markets close higher on Fed expectations, rebound in oil

TORONTO -- The Toronto stock market posted a triple-digit gain and recovered some of its recent losses as the price of oil surged, while New York markets were buoyed by expectations of the first interest-rate hike by the Fed since the Great Recession.

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The S&P/TSX composite index ended the day up 224.12 points to 12,919.61, as the price of January benchmark crude oil rose for a second day, up $1.04 to end trading at US$37.35 a barrel.

The TSX had lost nearly 630 points since oil prices slid below US$40 a barrel on Dec. 3.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 156.41 points to close at 17,524.91, while the broader S&P 500 index advanced 21.47 points to end at 2,043.41 and the Nasdaq jumped 43.13 points to 4,995.36.

Other commodities didn't fare as well as oil. January natural gas fell 7.2 cents to settle at US$1.822 per mmBtu, while February gold fell $1.80 to end trading at US$1,061.60 a troy ounce and March copper lost 5.5 cents to US$2.057 a pound.

The Canadian dollar was unchanged on the day at 72.79 cents US.



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