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Equities in Canada’s largest stock index opened the last trading day of the week slightly lower but held on to oil’s climb and closed out in the green. The euro-zone recovery buoyed energy stocks, but sudden weakness in gold prices dragged mining stocks lower than the rest of the indices. Statistics Canada reported retail sales decreased 0.2 per cent to $66.3 billion in February.

It was a similar story south of the border as US markets were on track to end facing downward yet defied the odds. Even so, it was one of the worst weekly performances of the spring season. Earnings season continued with results from Procter & Gamble beating expectations and liftings its sales forecast.

S&P 5004,133.52+3.73S&P 500

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.86 cents US, compared to 74.21 cents US on Thursday.

US crude futures traded $0.40 higher at $77.77 a barrel, and the Brent contract added $0.39 to $81.49 a barrel.

The price of gold was down US$23.86 to US$ 2,981.41.

In world markets, the Nikkei was down 93.20 points to 28,564.37, the Hang Seng was down 321.24 points to 20,075.73, the FTSE was up 11.52 points to 7,914.13, and the DAX was up 85.69 points to 15,881.66.

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