Loonie, TSX gain strength Wednesday as oil price rises

TORONTO -- The Canadian dollar and Toronto Stock Exchange gained strength as Wednesday's trading session progressed.

The S&P/TSX composite index had been down shortly after the open but was up 131.11 points at 12,462.43, after three hours of trading.

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The Dow Jones Industrials average also reversed course and was up 31.16 points at 16,198.39. The broader S&P 500 index was up 8.22 points at 1,911.850 but the Nasdaq 100 remained in the red, down 20.30 points at 4,213.55.

The loonie also started the day below Tuesday's close but was up 0.12 at 71.17 cents US about an hour before the U.S. Federal Reserve's release of its latest interest rate decision and outlook at 2 p.m. ET.

Canada's dollar has been trading near or just above 13-year lows for weeks as a result of a number of factors, including the increased spread in American and Canadian interest rates, the falling value of major commodities and slow economic growth.

On the commodity markets, the March crude contract was up $1.09 at US$32.54 per barrel, up from an intraday low just above US$30 a barrel. The February gold contract fell $3.20 to US$1,117.00 an ounce.



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