NEWS
03/18/2016 14:44 EDT | Updated 03/19/2017 01:12 EDT

Toronto Stock Exchange and Canadian dollar poised to end week lower

TORONTO — After enjoying a big boost from the U.S. Fed Reserve, the Toronto stock market and Canadian dollar were both poised to decline at the end of the trading week.

At mid-afternoon Friday, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 94.76 points at 13,526.54, almost level with last Friday's close as oil and gold prices trended lower.

The loonie also traded lower, down 0.16 of a U.S. cent at 76.83 cents US.

The Canadian dollar had risen more than two U.S. cents over the previous two days to close just shy of 77 cents US on Thursday. The loonie has not closed above 77 cents since last October.

In commodities, the April contract for North American benchmark crude oil was down 24 cents at US$39.96 a barrel, while the much more heavily traded May contract was down seven cents at $41.59.

April natural gas shed two cents to $1.92 per mmBtu. April gold lost $8.20 to US$1,256.80 an ounce, while May copper was unchanged at US$2.29 a pound.

It was a different story in New York, where investors remained buoyed by Wednesday's statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve Board that it would likely slow the pace of interest rate increases this year.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 94.21 points to 17,575.70, while the broader S&P 500 added 6.00 points to 2,046.59 and the Nasdaq advanced 14.06 points to 4,789.05.

The five-week climb on U.S. markets has wiped out most of its big losses from earlier in the year.

The Dow and the S&P have both jumped about 12 per cent since they hit annual lows Feb. 11, while the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil is up some 50 per cent from recent lows amid investor bets that production will slow and demand won't collapse.

In European trading, Germany's DAX rose 0.5 per cent and France's CAC 40 gained 3.4 per cent, while Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.2 per cent.

Asian markets were mixed, with Japan's Nikkei 225 falling 1.3 per cent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.8 per cent and China's main Shanghai composite index rose 1.7 per cent.

The Canadian Press