US Federal Reserve speech prompts dip in Canadian dollar, flatlines stock markets

Click to play video: 'Strong case for U.S. interest rate hike: Federal Reserve Chair'
Strong case for U.S. interest rate hike: Federal Reserve Chair
WATCH ABOVE: The case for a U.S. interest rate hike is strong thanks to improving labor market and expectations for solid growth, says Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Reuters' Bobbi Rebell reports – Aug 26, 2016

TORONTO – North American stock markets closed relatively flat, despite a highly anticipated speech by the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve today.

Toronto’s S&P/TSX composite index gained 9.16 points at 14,639.88.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 53.01 points at 18,395.40 and the broader S&P 500 composite index dropped 3.43 points to 2,169.04, while the Nasdaq composite increased by 6.72 points to 5,218.92.

READ MORE: Canadian dollar, TSX get boost from higher oil prices

The Canadian dollar, meanwhile, was down 0.44 of a cent at 76.92 cents US.

The October crude contract rose 31 cents to US$47.64 per barrel.

Elsewhere in commodities, the December gold contract advanced $1.30 at US$1,325.90 an ounce, October natural gas went up 2.8 cents to US$2.91 per mmBTU and September copper contracts remained relatively unchanged.

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Fed chair Janet Yellen said the U.S. economy has been helped by a solid job market, but stopped short of signalling any timetable for the next increase in the Fed’s key interest rates.

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