TORONTO -- Energy and mining stocks led a solid advance on the Toronto stock market on Thursday, while the Nasdaq finished the day at a record high.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 87.58 points at 15,392.35 after dropping 41.67 points Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar gained 0.55 of a U.S. cent to 82.33 cents.
Ben Jang, a portfolio manager at Nicola Wealth Management in Vancouver, says the Toronto market benefited from higher commodity prices.
"It's really driven off of the energy names today in Canada and that's from the geopolitical instability,'' said Jang. "Saudi Arabia is continuing their aerial assault on the rebels in Yemen, so there's concern about a constriction on the supply side.''
The metals and mining sector was the biggest gainer on the TSX, up 2.84 per cent, while the energy sector gained 0.9 per cent.
On the commodity markets, the June gold contract rose $7.40 to US$1,194.30 an ounce after plunging more than $16 on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, oil rose $1.58 to $57.74 a barrel and May copper advanced 2.9 cents to US$2.69 a pound.
In New York, the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 20.89 points to 5,056.06, beating its previous record high close of 5,048.61 set during the dot-com boom in March 2000.
The Dow gained 20.42 points to 18,058.69 and the S&P 500 advanced 4.97 points to 2,112.93.
"It's a bit more volatile, a bit more oscillating, but we are seeing higher thresholds being reached in the markets,'' said Jang.
In U.S. earnings news, General Motors, Proctor & Gamble and 3M were all impacted by the strong U.S. dollar.
General Motors reported income that fell short of analysts' expectations, while P&G saw its earnings shrink roughly eight per cent compared with a year ago. 3M also reported lower profits due to the strong U.S. currency.
In economic news, April manufacturing data from Europe, China and Japan were all weaker than expected.
Manufacturing in China fell to its lowest point in a year, an indication that growth is slowing in the world's second-largest economy.
Japanese manufacturing declined for a third consecutive month, suggesting some industries have not yet recovered from the recession brought on by the sales tax hike introduced last April.
Meanwhile, a survey of European manufacturing also fell in April due to weakness in the continent's two largest economies, Germany and France.
"The market is really looking through that,'' said Jang.
Sears Canada (TSX:SCC) closed down 1.68 per cent at $9.35 after announcing it will carry a new line of Wayne Gretzky menswear, in an exclusive partnership with the Canadian hockey celebrity.
And TransCanada (TSX:TRP) closed up seven cents to $57.15 after signing a deal with the Kitselas First Nation in relation to the energy company's planned natural gas pipeline across northern B.C.
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