WatchNorth American indexes ahead as loonie retreats on lower oil and gold

TORONTO — Higher industrials and bank stocks helped push the Toronto stock market ahead for a fourth straight session as gold and oil prices retreated.Toronto’s S&P/TSX composite index advanced 89.93 points at 13,671.35, while the Canadian dollar lost 0.35 of a U.S. cent to 78.03 cents US.The pullback from the loonie comes after three days of advances that saw the currency rise more than 2.3 U.S. cents to settle at its highest close since July.Bank of Canada holds interest rate, hikes economic forecastEarlier, the Bank of Canada announced that it was keeping its trend-setting interest rate locked at 0.5 per cent, forecasting that the economy will grow by 1.7 per cent in 2016, up from its January expectation of 1.4 per cent.On commodity markets, the May contract for benchmark North American crude edged down 41 cents to US$41.76 a barrel after closing above Tuesday at its highest level since late November.Elsewhere in commodities, May natural gas was up three cents at US$2.04 per mmBTU, while May copper advanced two cents to US$2.17 a pound and June gold shed $12.60 to US$1,248.30 a troy ounce.New York markets were also solidly ahead for a second day, with the Dow Jones industrial average adding 187.03 points at 17,908.28, while the broader S&P 500 advanced 20.70 points to 2,082.42.The Nasdaq composite jumped 75.33 points to 4,947.42.


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