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Fed stimulus hope moves markets

The Toronto stock market was higher Wednesday as commodity prices gained ground and traders looked ahead to another dose of economic stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The S&P/TSX composite index rose 30.56 points to 12,312.92 while the TSX Venture Exchange edged up 3.09 points to 1,187.02.

The Canadian dollar rose 0.06 of a cent to 101.46 cents US.

U.S. markets also advanced amid hopes for a resolution to the so-called fiscal cliff, an end-of-year deadline when automatic steep spending cuts and significant tax increases are set to take place. With economic growth already weak, the worry is that the two moves would slash growth further and send the U.S. back into recession, sending shockwaves around the world.

The Dow Jones industrials gained 25.04 points to 13,273.48, the Nasdaq was up 1.22 points to 3,023.52, and the S&P 500 index rose 2.52 points to 1,430.36.

The Fed is widely expected to announce a new bond-buying program at the end of its two-day policy meeting later Wednesday to replace one that's about to expire.

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