The Toronto stock market closed higher, as violence in Iraq pushed up most commodities even though the price of oil retreated slightly from recent gains.
The S&P/TSX composite index added 38.82 points to 15,040.43 after having earlier reached a level about two points above its all-time closing high of 15,073 set on June 18, 2008, just before the Great Recession sent stocks plummeting.
The Canadian dollar was up 0.13 of a cent to 92.24 cents (U.S.) ahead of a two-day meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve.
On Wednesday, the U.S. central bank will deliver an economic outlook and decide whether it will continue to dial back its massive bond purchases – a stimulus program that has long helped support equities markets. The central bank is expected to announce that it’ll reduce its massive bond buyback program by a further $10-billion to $35-billion (U.S.) a month on signs of an improving economy.
Wall Street was barely changed even as the International Monetary Fund issued a new forecast predicting the U.S. economy will grow at a modest two per cent this year, below its previous estimate of 2.7 per cent. The Dow Jones industrials gained 5.27 points to 16,781.01, the Nasdaq added 10.46 points to 4,321.11 and the S&P 500 climbed 1.62 points to 1,937.78
In commodities, benchmark U.S. crude for July delivery fell a penny to $106.90 (U.S.) a barrel after gaining for the past week as the conflict in Iraq worsened following reports of a massacre by Islamic militants over the weekend. Fears of a widening instability in the country, a key energy producer, also sent traders to other commodities. August bullion was up $1.20 to $1,275.30 an ounce and July copper advanced two cents to $3.05 a pound.