Man facing stock exchange, financial chart overlay

An attack on oil tankers in the Middle East sent crude prices higher to the benefit of North American stock markets.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 12.02 points to 16,239.26.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 101.94 points at 26,106.77. The S&P 500 index was up 11.80 points at 2,891.64, while the Nasdaq composite was up 44.41 points at 7,837.13.

The Canadian dollar traded for an average of US75.05¢ compared with an average of US75.17¢ on Wednesday.

The July crude contract was up US$1.14 at US$52.28 per barrel and the July natural gas contract was down US6.1¢ at US$2.32 per mmBTU.

The August gold contract was up US$6.90 at US$1,343.70 an ounce and the July copper contract was up US0.25¢ at US$2.66 a pound.