North American stock indexes rise, loonie up Wednesday morning

TORONTO -- North American stock markets were showing strong gains and the Canadian dollar was up nearly a full cent this morning.

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The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index jumped 214.29 points after 90 minutes, a gain of 1.71 from the previous close. The index rose 173.74 points on Tuesday and nearly 300 points on Friday before the holiday weekend.

In New York, the major indexes showed similar gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 203.36 points or 1.3 per cent to 16,399.77, the S&P 500 composite index added 27.38 points or 1.4 per cent to 1,922.96 and the Nasdaq composite rose 78.89 points or 1.8 per cent to 4,514.84.

The Canadian dollar was at 73.02 cents US, up 0.98 of a US cent from Tuesday's close.

On the commodity markets, the March crude contract was $1.61 higher at US$30.65 per barrel, March natural gas was up two cents at US$1.92 per mmbtu, while March copper was up 1.7 cents at $2.07 per pound. The April gold contract rose $2.80 to US$1,211.00 an ounce.



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