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Major North American stock markets rebound; Loonie, oil move higher


Major North American indices rebounded at the end of the week as investors regained confidence after closing in the red the day before.

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 12.15 points to 16,031.01.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average moved up 181.18 points to 26,031.81. The S&P 500 index rose 17.79 points to 2,792.67, while the Nasdaq composite advanced 67.84 points to 7,527.54.

"Looks like some optimism is starting to creep into the market again with the Chinese and U.S. trade negotiations," said Kathryn Del Greco, vice president and investment advisor at TD Wealth.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He were scheduled to meet in the White House Friday afternoon. Trump has also indicated the March 1st deadline to reach a deal is not a hard deadline, but one that could be extended.

"I think the market is just starting to gain comfort that this is not just PR talk trying to talk us into a position of confidence, but is actually, it looks like there's material steps that are developing," said Del Greco.

The Toronto market also saw a lift from the basic materials sector, which rose 0.2 per cent.

Barrick Gold Corp. announced it has "reviewed the opportunity" to merge with rival Colorado-based Newmont Mining Corp. but that no decision has been made.

Whenever there is major merger and acquisition activity, it starts to awaken the sector and people begin to speculate what the next potential target may be, said Del Greco. It sparks trading activity and a little bit of optimism, she said.

The promise of a resolution to the trade negotiations between the two countries also helped boost oil prices. The April crude contract rose 30 cents to US$57.26 per barrel.

A resolution would have a very positive spillover effect to the global economy and the consumption of commodities, said Del Greco.

Elsewhere in commodities, the April natural gas contract gained about two cents to roughly US$2.74 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract advanced US$5.00 to US$1,332.80 an ounce and the March copper contract was ahead about six cents to US$2.95 a pound.

The Canadian dollar averaged 75.91 cents US, up 0.13 of a US cent from Thursday.

β€” With a file from the Associated Press

Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.

 

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

 

Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version referenced Wednesday in para 4.

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