NEWS

Dow nears record, TSX at 5-month high as oil prices continue to climb

02/13/2015 03:11 EST | Updated 04/15/2015 05:59 EDT
New York stocks were near record levels and the TSX was at a five-month high Friday as oil prices moved higher.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed at a record and the Dow Jones industrial average traded above 18,000 for the first time since Dec. 23, 2014.

The Dow closed up 46.97 at 18,019.35, just short of its record, while the S&P 500 rose 7.9 points to 2,096. The Nasdaq was at its highest level in 15 years, up 36 points to 4993.

The TSX was at its highest levels since last September, up 42 points to 15,271.

Underlying the gains were advances in energy stocks after oil prices continued to climb.

West Texas Intermediate crude, the main North American contract, held firm above $52 US a barrel after moving higher for the past three days.

Brent crude, the international contract traded in London, was above $61, up $2.07 to $61.35 at the close of trading.

The Canadian dollar was up 0.31 of a cent at 80.24 US cents.

The advances in oil and stocks seemed to be powered by optimism over Europe’s prospects after it reported stronger than expected growth in the fourth quarter.

GDP in the eurozone expanded by 0.3 per cent, with Germany moving ahead by 0.7 per cent in the quarter.

Investors also were encouraged by news of ongoing talks over Greece’s debt woes.

Oil prices also moved higher on a Baker Hughes survey that showed the number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States fell by 84 this week to 1,056.

Oil producers have been lowering their capital investment and pulling back on new development, spurring hopes that the oil glut that sent oil prices to the $45 level will soon disappear.

Next Monday, the TSX is closed because of Ontario's Family Day while New York is shuttered for President's Day. 

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