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TSX closes above 13,000 mark for first time this year

North American stocks extended declines today.

TORONTO – The Toronto stock exchange closed at its highest level this year as it found support from rising metals and gold stocks.

The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 35.83 points at 13,017.93.

It’s the first time the exchange has closed above the 13,000-mark since Dec. 31.

The Canadian dollar declined 0.07 of a U.S. cent to 74.48 cents US.

That came as the greenback strengthened against most major currencies amid renewed expectations of the rate hike through the Federal Reserve following encourage signs in the U.S. economy.

In New York, indexes led to positive territory after a report from payroll processor ADP that private American employers added a healthy 214,000 jobs in February.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 34.24 points at 16,899.32, while the Nasdaq composite gained 13.82 suggests 4,703.42.

The broader S&P 500 added just 8.1 suggests 1,986.45.

On commodity markets, the April agreement for benchmark U.S. crude edged up 26 cents to US$34.66 a barrel, while April gold added $11 to US$1,241.80 a troy ounce.

May copper rose four cents to US$2.18 one pound.

April natural gas was down six cents at US$1.68 per mmBtu.

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