Gains in commodity and banking stocks helped lift Canada’s main stock index higher on Wednesday.

The Bank of Canada kept interest rates on hold at 4.50 per cent, becoming the first major central bank to suspend its campaign against rising inflation. Although the TSX sustained losses in February, the index is on track to gain 4.5 per cent for the current quarter. Statistics Canada reported that the economy logged a trade surplus in January, driven by higher exports of farm, fishing, and intermediate food products, as well as motor vehicles and parts.

US stock markets were mixed. A jobs report found that the labour market is still tight as inflation surges. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell spoke before the House Financial Services Committee and said that no decision has been made on the size of the interest-rate increase.

Today in the Markets

TSX 20,346.53 +70.99 TSX
TSXV 625.23 -1.58 TSXV
CSE 196.94 -1.21 TSXV
DJIA 32,798.40 -58.06 DJIA
NASDAQ 11,576.00 +45.67 NASDAQ
S&P 500 3,990.64 +4.27 S&P 500

The Canadian dollar traded for 72.50 cents US, compared to 72.75 cents US on Tuesday.

US crude futures traded $1.05 lower at $76.53 a barrel, and the Brent contract lost $0.77 to $82.52 a barrel.

The price of gold was down 0.12 to US$1,845.10.

In world markets, the Nikkei was up 135.03 points to 28,444.19, the Hang Seng was down 483.23 points to 20,051.25, the FTSE was up 10.44 points to 7,929.92, and the DAX was up 72.34 points to 15,631.87.

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