TORONTO -- A broad-based rally led by mining companies helped give Canada's main stock index a boost as the loonie fell nearly half a cent.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 42.35 points to 15,647.14, with strong gains coming from the materials, gold and base metals sectors.

The Canadian dollar closed at an average trading value of 77.45 cents US, down 0.49 of a U.S. cent.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 171.58 points to 25,007.03. The S&P 500 index was down 17.71 points to 2,765.31 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 77.31 points to 7,511.01.

The April crude contract was down 65 cents to US$60.71 per barrel and the April natural gas contract was up one cent at US$2.79 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was up US$6.30 to US$1,327.10 an ounce and the May copper contract was up one cent to US$3.14 a pound.