The Canadian stock market closed modestly higher Thursday amid relief that the US government successfully avoided a potential debt default in the last minute. The Toronto Stock Exchange\'s benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 79.15 points, or 0.61 percent, to finish Thursday\'s trading at 12,036.36. The US Senate and House of Representatives passed a measure Wednesday night that reopens and funds the government through Jan. 15 and permits the U.S. Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7. Traders also paid attention to a batch of earnings reports from a number of companies on the North American market. Gold stocks lifted the Toronto stock market as bullion prices moved up more than 3 percent. Shares in Barrick Gold surged almost 5 percent to 19.06 Canadian dollars (about 18.51 U.S. dollars). Goldcorp Inc. increased 3.48 percent to 25.26 Canadian dollars a share. Financial sector also rose 0.5 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia jumped 1 percent to 60.81 Canadian dollars a share and shares of Royal Bank of Canada were up 0.5 percent to 68.74 Canadian dollars apiece. Information technology stocks led decliners, down more than 1 percent. BlackBerry shares went up 0.24 percent to 8.44 Canadian dollars. At closing, the Canadian dollar closed up at 0.9716 U.S. dollars at 5 p.m. local time (2100 GMT) Thursday, compared with 0. 9684 U.S. dollars Wednesday.