TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed sharply higher as the rally in crude prices continued. The S&P/TSX composite index jumped 162.30 points to a two-month high of 15,062.77.
Crude closed above US$50 a barrel for the first time in a month as cutbacks by major producers raises hopes that crude prices have bottomed. The TSX energy sector gained four per cent as oil in New York gained ground for a fourth day, up $3.48 to US$53.05 a barrel.
That adds up to a 19-per cent surge in prices over the last four sessions. However, prices are still down about 50 per cent from last June because of a huge global oversupply.
Higher oil prices helped push the Canadian dollar up 1.16 cents to 80.67 cents US.
New York markets were also sharply higher as automakers reported double-digit sales increases in the United States in January.
The Dow Jones industrials soared 305.36 points to 17,666.4, the Nasdaq climbed 51.05 points to 4,727.74 and the S&P 500 index was up 29.18 points at 2,050.03.