A volatile trading day capped the quarter as an early rally evaporated to leave the S&P/TSX Composite Index with the barest of gains while U.S. markets swung deep into the red.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 2.38 points, or 0.01 per cent, Friday at 18,444.22. For the third quarter as a whole, it fell 2.2 per cent.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 500.10 points, or 1.7 per cent, at 28,725.51. The S&P 500 index was down 54.85 points, or 1.5 per cent, at 3,585.62, while the Nasdaq composite was down 161.89 points, or 1.5 per cent, at 10,575.62.

The Canadian dollar was trading for 72.45 cents US, according to XE.com, compared with 72.96 cents US on Thursday.

The November crude contract closed down US$1.74 at US$79.49 per barrel and the November natural gas contract was down nearly 11 cents at US$6.77 per mmBTU.

The December gold contract was up US$3.40 at US$1,672.00 an ounce and the December copper contract was down a penny at US$3.41 a pound.

-- With files from BNN Bloomberg