U.S. stocks stage late rally as TSX dips in red after tumultuous week


TORONTO _ North American markets largely pushed higher Friday after a choppy session, capping off a tumultuous period that has seen Canada’s main stock index drop more than five per cent since last week and eight per cent from its all-time high.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 31.08 points or 0.21 per cent to 15,034.53, after losing nearly 280 points and gaining more than 45 points throughout the day.

In New York, stocks staged a late rally, with the Dow Jones industrial average finishing the session up 330.44 points or 1.38 per cent to 24,190.90 _ after briefly sinking as low as 500 points.

The S&P 500 index was up 38.55 points or 1.49 per cent to 2,619.55, and the Nasdaq composite index was up 97.33 points or 1.44 per cent to 6,874.49.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 lost more than five per cent for the week, as the Dow recorded 1,000-point drops on Monday and Thursday.

The stock market rout began last Friday after U.S. jobs data showed wages growing more than anticipated, raising worries that creeping signs of higher inflation might push the U.S. Federal Reserve to increase interest rates more quickly.

In currency markets, the Canadian dollar closed at an average trading value of 79.31 cents US, down 0.15 of a U.S. cent _ continuing a sharp drop that has seen the loonie rocked by equity volatility and plunging commodity prices.

The March crude contract was down US$1.95 to US$59.20 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was down 11 cents to US$2.58 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was down US$3.30 to US$1,315.70 an ounce and the March copper contract was down five cents to US$3.03 a pound.

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