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Stock markets pull back on last trading day of 2016; oil and gold prices dip

TORONTO — North American equity markets finished the year off with a whimper, as all major indexes in Canada and the U.S. settled in the red.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index lost 134.53 points at 15,287.59, weighed down by a broad decline in nearly all sectors.

Weakness could also be found on Wall Street, as the Dow Jones industrial average lost 57.18 points to 19,762.60. The broader S&P 500 was down 10.43 points to 2,238.83, while the Nasdaq composite declined 48.97 points to 5,383.12.

The Canadian dollar was the one bright spot, adding nearly half a cent, or 0.45 of a U.S. cent, to 74.48 cents US. It has racked up 2.23 U.S. cents this year.

In commodities, the February contract for crude retracted five cents to US$53.72 per barrel, but the commodity is still up 45 per cent from US$37.04 a barrel at the end of 2015.

The February gold contract fell $6.40 to US$1,151.70 an ounce, February natural gas dipped eight cents to US$3.72 per mmBTU, and March copper gained two cents to US$2.51 per pound.