Canadian stocks surge on oil’s leap

Toronto, March 18 (IANS) Canada’s main stock market in Toronto surged after crude oil traded above $40 for the first time this year, amid the prospect of gradual rate hikes by the US central bank and hope for an output cap by top oil producers.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index gained 143.17 points, or 1.06 percent, to close at 13,621.30 points on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Seven of the TSX index’s eight main sub-sectors moved higher.

Oil prices extended rally on Thursday on a weaker US dollar. A Federal Reserve policy decision on Wednesday indicating two US rate hikes this year instead of four also drew oil buyers using other currencies.

By closing, the Canadian dollar was traded higher at $0.7699, compared with Wednesday’s closing rate of $0.7621.

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