Loonie rises above 70 cents U.S. as stock markets turn around

TORONTO -- The Canadian dollar was gaining strength Thursday morning, trading above 70 cents U.S., as North American stock markets advanced modestly and the price of oil rose.

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The loonie was at 70.06 cents U.S. in late morning trading -- more than a full cent above its close on Wednesday.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 42.22 points at 11,885.33 after 90 minutes of trading.

On Wednesday, it ended the day down 159.13 points at 11,843.11, its lowest close since June 24, 2013, when it finished at 11,836.86.

Similarly, a revived Dow Jones industrial average was up 97.45 points at 15,864.19 with nearly five hours left in the trading day.

The broader S&P 500 index was up 9.41 points at 1,868.74 points and the Nasdaq 100 was up 18.50 points at 4,154.79.

Major European indexes were up slightly near the end of their trading day but the Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong markets closed lower before the North American trading day began.

On the commodity markets, the March crude contract was at US$28.56, up 21 cents.

The February gold contracts were at US$1,096.90, down $8.30.



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