Business

TSX closes at a new record high

North American equity markets enjoyed a solid end of the week, with the benchmark indexes in Canada and the United States closing at record highs.

Energy, materials and financial stocks lead the way for benchmark Canadian index

The TSX on Friday bested its all-time closing high. (Canadian Press)

North American equity markets enjoyed a solid end of the week, with the benchmark indexes in Canada and the United States closing at record highs.

On Bay Street, the S&P/TSX composite index gained 111.82 points on Friday to close at 15,729.12. That topped the previous record close set back on Sept. 3, 2014, when the index hit 15,657.

Friday's gains were broad-based, led by stocks in the energy, materials and financial sectors.

Oil prices gained after the Paris-based International Energy Agency lifted its demand forecast and said oil cartel OPEC is sticking to its pledge to cut production. The March contract for light sweet crude oil closed at $53.86 US a barrel, for a gain of 86 cents from Thursday's close.

The TSX was also buoyed in general by strong Canadian jobs numbers released Friday that show the job market is on its best six-month run in 15 years.

The major U.S. market indexes were also flying high, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump revealed his administration is planning a "phenomenal" tax reform package that would likely ease the burden on most businesses.

"No one wants to miss a large pop when that news does come out," said Uriel Cohen, founder of Alpine Global in New York.

All three of the major U.S. indexes broke the all-time records they set on Thursday.

 The Dow Jones industrial average gained 96.97 points to 20,269.37 and the S&P 500 advanced 8.23 points to 2,316.10. The Nasdaq composite index rose 18.95 points to 5,734.13 for its fourth consecutive day of all-time highs.

The Canadian dollar added 0.32 of a U.S. cent to end the week at 76.42 cents US.

With files from Reuters, The Canadian Press

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