Crude oil settles above US$50 a barrel


TORONTO – Oil prices settled above US$50 a barrel for the first time in nearly a year, helping lift the commodity-heavy Toronto stock market.

The July benchmark contract for West Texas Intermediate crude closed 67 cents higher to US$50.36.

That’s the first time oil has settled above the US$50 mark since last July.

Rising oil prices also helped the loonie, which climbed 0.22 of a U.S. cent to 78.30 cents US.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 89.45 points at 14,365.61, driven by gains in energy and bank stocks.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average added 17.95 points at 17,938.28, the broader S&P 500 composite index advanced 2.72 points to 2,112.13 and the Nasdaq composite fell 6.96 points to 4,961.75.

In other commodities, July natural gas was down 1.5 cents at US$2.45 per mmBTU, August gold fell $4 to US$1,243.40 an ounce and July copper contracts fell 6.8 cents to US$2.05 a pound.