The Toronto stock market closed sharply higher Wednesday on rising energy and financial stocks after three down days on the markets.

New York also made headway after a dismal read of economic conditions by the U.S. Federal Reserve, a buyout deal in the home-building industry and a disappointing start to the U.S. corporate earnings season.

Toronto’s S&P/TSX composite index surged 144.53 points to 8,969.28.

The Canadian dollar rose 0.03 of a cent to 80.82 cents US.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts increased to 154,700 units in March from 136,100 units in February.