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Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange, July 2, 2013. (BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange, July 2, 2013. (BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)

At midday: TSX gains as oil moves up on Egypt unrest Add to ...

The Toronto stock market was higher near midday Tuesday as concerns over political unrest in Egypt pushed up oil prices.

The S&P/TSX composite index advanced 36.57 points to 12,165.68, after rising as much as 88 points earlier in the session.

The Canadian dollar fell 0.28 of a cent to 94.80 cents US.

Crude prices continued to rise amid political uncertainty after massive weekend protests in Egypt, with the August contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange up 82 cents at US$98.81 a barrel. The TSX energy sector was up 0.6 per cent.

August bullion was down $7.70 to US$1,248 an ounce on the Nymex.

TSX info tech stocks were flat as BlackBerry (TSX:BB) lost 4.2 per cent, or 46 cents, to $10.62 after reporting disappointing earnings on Friday.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials rose 59.48 points to 15,034.44, the Nasdaq rose 13.70 points to 3,448.19 and the S&P 500 index was 6.96 points higher at 1,621.92.

Traders found confidence in the latest U.S. auto sales numbers, which showed that once-cautious shoppers are now returning to the market. Ford reported its best June sales since 2006.

The confluence of easy credit, low interest rates and smart, new models are driving auto sales sharply higher this year. Analysts who follow the industry don’t see that changing any time soon.

The U.S. government also released its May factory orders report which showed its third consecutive month of increases. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that factory orders rose 2.1 per cent last month. April’s increase was revised higher to 1.3 per cent from one per cent.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 in London was relatively flat at 6,306.44. Germany’s DAX index dropped 0.8 per cent to 7,918.29 while France’s CAC-40 shed 0.6 per cent to 3,744.18.

Asian stock markets were mostly higher Tuesday as speculation that lukewarm U.S. economic indicators would keep the Federal Reserve from ending its stimulus program early offset pessimism about China’s economy.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225, the region’s heavyweight index, jumped 1.8 per cent to 14,098.74. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 2.6 per cent at 4,834.00 after the country’s central bank left interest rates unchanged and said the Australian dollar is likely to continue falling, easing pressure on the economy.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index was up 0.9 per cent to 3,170.10. Seoul’s Kospi was almost unchanged at 1,855.02.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index reversed early losses to rise 0.6 per cent to 2,006.56 after reports on Monday that Chinese manufacturing weakened in June amid a credit crunch. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.7 per cent to 20,658.65.

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