North American stock markets open higher, oil tops US$40 a barrel


TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index was up in early trading, helped by gains in the energy and materials sectors as the price of oil topped US$40 a barrel.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 118.77 points at 15,598.60.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 296.93 points at 26,377.03. The S&P 500 index was up 32.37 points at 3,147.71, while the Nasdaq composite was up 85.97 points at 10,029.02.

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.69 cents US compared with 73.59 cents US on Thursday.

The August crude contract was up US$1.25 at US$40.30 per barrel and the July natural gas contract was up two cents at US$1.66 per mmBTU.

The August gold contract was up US$13.00 at US$1,744.10 an ounce and the July copper contract was up nearly six cents at US$2.64 a pound.