01/19/2012 10:56 EST | Updated 03/20/2012 05:12 EDT

Loonie, TSX ,edge higher

The Canadian dollar and the TSX both edged higher Thursday, buoyed by new optimism about the global economy.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 53.17 points at 12,380.69. Investors digested encouraging official data on Canadian manufacturing sales and unemployment benefit recipients to move the benchmark index higher, bucking the trend of other North American markets.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 45.03 points to 12,623.98. The Nasdaq composite index was up 18.62 points to 2,788.33 and the S&P 500 index rose 6.46 points to 1,314.50.

The Canadian dollar edged 0.02 of a cent lower to 98.87 cents US. It had earlier been as much as a third of a cent higher. It's the first time the currency has been above that since Dec. 7, after having spent much of 2011 above parity.

The loonie hasn't closed above parity with the greenback since Oct. 31 of last year.

European exchanges were higher with London's FTSE 100 index ahead 0.48 per cent, Frankfurt's DAX ran up 0.72 per cent while the main Paris index rose 1.55 per cent.

Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose one per cent, South Korea's Kospi climbed 1.2 per cent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.3 per cent.