Toronto stock index takes big step back, loonie continues to advance

TORONTO _ Canada’s main stock index took a big step backward this morning, a day after coming close to setting an all-time high.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 102.82 points after two hours of trading at 15,483.76, with mining stocks leading the benchmark index lower.

The current S&P/TSX record high close is 15,657.63, which was set on Sept. 3, 2014. The market approached that level on Thursday, hitting 15,621.40 at the intraday high before closing at 15,586.58.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 27.47 points to 19,926.76 and the S&P 500 rose 3.35 points to 2,272.35. The Nasdaq composite advanced 23.66 points to 5,511.59.

The Canadian dollar was at 75.63 cents US, up 0.19 of a U.S. cent from Thursday’s close.

The February crude contract slipped 16 cents to US$53.60 per barrel and February natural gas was down three cents at US$3.30 per mmBTU.

The February gold contract fell $5.30 to US$1,176.00 an ounce and March copper was down one cent at US$2.52 a pound.