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Markets higher, loonie up

The financial, industrial and energy sectors helped Canada's main stock index push higher in late-morning trading, while U.S. markets also charged higher.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 68.41 points at 15,279.63.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 232.91 points at 24,603.01. The S&P 500 index was up 28.86 points at 2,664.82, while the Nasdaq composite was up 79.79 points at 7,164.25.

The Canadian dollar traded at 75.51 cents US compared with an average of 75.22 cents US on Thursday following a pick up in the annual inflation rate in December to two per cent, topping expectations for a reading of 1.7 per cent.

The March crude contract up US$1.69 at US$54.05 per barrel and the February natural gas contract was down 12.6 cents at US$3.29 per mmBTU.

The February gold contract was down US$9.60 at US$1,282.70 an ounce and the March copper contract was up 3.15 cents at US$2.71 a pound.



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