Stocks rally, lifting commodities

North American stock exchanges are on a tear today after central banks made more funds available to lenders, giving investors hope for a way out of the European debt debacle.  The markets were also cheered by better than expected private sector job growth in the United States.

The mining-heavy S&P/TSX Composite was up 2.5% to just over 12,000 at time of writing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 384 points, or 3.3%, the most on a closing basis since Aug. 11, according to Bloomberg.

Spot gold was up $32 from yesterday to $1747 which is just above the 20-day moving average of $1744, noted Kitco. Silver was up marginally to $32.86 from yesterday's $31.92, while benchmark copper was up more than 5% to a two-week high of $7,885/tonne. Zinc, lead, aluminum and nickel were also up from Tuesday.

Reuters added a third reason for the rally, that China's central bank cut the reserve requirement ratio of its bank by 50 basis points to ease credit strains. The news provider quotes Natixis analyst Nic Brown saying: "We are absolutely not out of the woods yet but if you're looking for the necessary preconditions for improvements in base metals prices in the months, this is top of the list."

Mining majors all posted gains on Wednesday. BHP was up 6.8% in New York, Rio Tinto and Anglo American gained a respective 4% and 1.68% in London, and Barrick Gold was up 4.9%.

Energy stocks also did well on the markets today, with commodity traders cheering the news of China's rate cut by buying up Nymex crude futures, notes Wall Street Journal. Nymex crude is up 1% to over $100 a barrel.

The top Canadian oil sands companies all saw their share prices rise. Suncor was up 4% as the trading day closed in New York, while Canadian Natural Resources pushed up 4.8% to $36.85. Canadian Oil Sands was up $2.9% in Toronto.