The Canadian stock market closed slightly higher Wednesday as the U.S. Federal Reserve maintained strong stimulus due to the slowing economy. The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 14.72 points, or 0.11 percent, to finish the day's trading at 13455.33. The Canadian stock market posted a slight gain Wednesday as the U.S. central bank indicated it won't cut back on its key stimulus very soon. The Fed said at the conclusion of its two-day interest rate meeting that the 85 billion U.S. dollars of monthly bond purchases will continue, adding that it wants more evidence of sustained economic growth before it starts to taper. The decision to carry on with the asset purchases pushed gold stocks on the Toronto Stock Exchange up more than 2 percent, making it the lead advancer. Barrick Gold surged 4.06 percent to 21.55 Canadian dollars (20.47 U.S. dollars) a share and Goldcorp Inc. rose 0.55 percent to 27.63 Canadian dollars (26.25 U.S. dollars) a share. The financial sector was up 0.25 percent. Manulife Financial Group went up 1.86 percent to 18.66 Canadian dollars (17.73 U.S. dollars). Royal Bank of Canada added 0.23 percent to 70.22 Canadian dollars (66.71 U.S. dollars) per share. Energy stocks were the biggest weight, down 0.45 percent as December crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped 1.6 to 96.67 U.S. dollars a barrel as data showed U.S. inventories rose more than expected last week. The industrial sector was little changed. Canadian National Railway Company slipped 0.3 percent to 114.76 Canadian dollars ( 109.02 U.S. dollars) as it continues to negotiate with the union to avoid a labor disruption. At closing, the Canadian dollar went down to 0.9544 U.S. dollars at 5 p.m. local time (2100 GMT), from 0.9554 U.S. dollars Tuesday.