TSX drops lower as crude, commodities continue to slump

TORONTO -- The Toronto stock market pulled back at the close amid lower commodity prices and words of caution on the global economic recovery from the head of the U.S.

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Federal Reserve.

The S&P/TSX composite index fell 96.93 points to 12,185.72, its fourth consecutive losing session. The Canadian dollar was off 0.28 of a U.S. cent at 71.77 cents US.

Oil continued its downward trajectory, with the March contract losing another 49 cents to settle at US$27.45 a barrel. The last time the price of benchmark crude hovered around these levels was more than a decade ago when it slumped to US$26.96 a barrel in September 2003.

Other commodities were also negative, with March natural gas shedding five cents to US$2.05 per mmBtu, while April gold fell $4 to US$1,194.60 a troy ounce. March copper dipped a penny to US$2.02 a pound.

New York indexes were mixed after Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen said the U.S. central bank still plans to gradually raise interest rates, but will keep an eye on global economic conditions in doing so.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 99.64 points to 15,914.74, while the broader S&P 500 lost 0.35 of a point to 1,851.86. The Nasdaq composite gained 14.83 points to 4,283.59.



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