03/01/2016 11:53 EST | Updated 03/01/2016 11:59 EST

Loonie Up Half A Cent, North American Markets Show Moderate Gains

TORONTO — The Canadian dollar was up half a cent this morning as stock markets showed moderate gains.

The loonie climbed 0.60 of a U.S. cent to 74.56 cents US following a better than expected GDP report. Statistics Canada says the economy grew by 1.2 per cent in 2015.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX index added on 90.39 points or 0.7 per cent at 12,950.74 after 90 minutes of trading.

The Dow Jones industrial average was advanced 173.88 points or one per cent at 16,690.38.

The broader S&P 500 composite index gained 22.80 points or 1.2 per cent to 1,955.03 and the Nasdaq composite jumped 68.05 points or 1.5 per cent to just under 4,625.

The April crude contract was down eight cents per barrel at US$33.66 and April natural gas was up 0.6 cent at US$1.72 per mmBtu. The April gold contract fell $1.80 to US$1,232.60 an ounce and May copper contracts were at US$2.12 a pound, down less than a cent.

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