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A motorist puts gas in his care in Montreal in this April, 2012, file photo., Wednesday, April 4 , 2012. (Graham Hughes For The Globe and Mail)
A motorist puts gas in his care in Montreal in this April, 2012, file photo., Wednesday, April 4 , 2012. (Graham Hughes For The Globe and Mail)

At the open: TSX rises on low inflation Add to ...

The Toronto Stock Exchange climbed higher and the Canadian dollar fell Friday as Statistics Canada reported that consumer prices rose last month at the slowest rate in more than three years.

The S&P/TSX composite index opened higher by 15.25 points to 12,522.85.

The loonie fell more than 1.06 cents to 97.06 cents (U.S.) after the federal agency said Canada’s annual inflation rate dipped six-tenths of a point to 0.4 per cent.

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Statistics Canada said there was also an outward decline month-to-month, with prices dropping 0.4 per cent from March, largely due to falling gasoline prices.

The Dow Jones industrial futures was ahead by 50.93 points to 15,284.15, the S&P 500 futures index jumped 7.30 points to 1,657.77, while the Nasdaq futures climbed 16.38 points to 3,481.62.

Meanwhile, gold prices continued to pull back. June gold bullion dropped $13.60 to $1,373.30 (U.S.) an ounce, down nearly five per cent this week. On Wednesday, it had closed under $1,400 an ounce for the first time in a month.

Oil climbed towards $105 a barrel on Friday, rebounding from an earlier decline and heading for a small weekly gain, although concern about the strength of demand growth limited the rise.

A rally in refined products such as gasoil, a bomb attack closing an Iraqi export pipeline and steadier European equities lent support to crude, countering the U.S. dollar’s rise close to a 10-month high.

Brent crude was up 82 cents at $104.60 a barrel by late morning, and was on course to rise about 0.7 percent this week. U.S. oil was up 77 cents at $95.93.

“Equities are still well supported by the actions of the central banks. Once you get closer to $100 on Brent, there is a little bit more demand,” said Olivier Jakob, oil consultant at Petromatrix in Zug, Switzerland.

More investors who sold long positions could be heading back into Brent, which hit a 2013 low of $96.75 on April 18, dealers said. Its peak for 2013 so far is $119.17, reached on Feb. 8.

“The funds that got rid of their length are probably coming back in on the long side,” said Christopher Bellew, broker at Jefferies Bache. “Prices have probably hit their nadir and Brent is in a gradual upward move towards $110.”

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