February 12, 2016 5:17 pm
Updated: February 19, 2016 10:03 am

Oil prices post big rally, sending North American stocks soaring

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A strong rebound in oil prices and an encouraging report on U.S. retail sales helped lift North American stock markets Friday.

Financial and energy companies were among the biggest gainers on rare positive day for equities. Oil was up more than 11 per cent.

The TSX composite index ended the session up 293.9 points or 2.43 per cent to 12,381.24.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 313.7 points, or 2.0 per cent, to 15,973.84 at the closing bell. The S&P 500 gained 35.69 points, or 1.95 per cent, to 1,864.77.

“Oil, which has been one of the most fickle, most volatile series that everybody’s watching, is having a nice day,” said Tim Dreiling, regional investment director for The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank. “Europe is continuing to look good. And it looked like [the market] was oversold.”

Oil rally

Benchmark U.S. crude was up $3, or 11.4 per cent, to $29.21 a barrel in electronic trading in New York. The contract tumbled to $26.21 on Thursday, its lowest level since May 2003. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, gained $2.63, or 8.7 per cent, to $32.69 a barrel in London.
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