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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange April 9, 2014. (BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange April 9, 2014. (BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)

At the open: Strong morning for markets as Dow Jones hits record high Add to ...

Canadian and U.S. markets are registering strong gains this morning after copper prices jumped in response to moves to open up Chinese markets.

The Dow Jones industrials ran up 104.06 points to 16,695.7, an all-time high. The Nasdaq gained 41.91 points to 4,113.78 and the S&P 500 index was ahead 13.01 points to 1,891.49.

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 80.68 points to 14,614.74. Base metal miners advanced after China’s cabinet promised in an announcement late Friday to allow local governments to issue bonds and to streamline the approval process for initial public stock offerings, a move that was seen as widening market access.

The Canadian dollar edged up 0.03 of a cent to 91.81 cents (U.S.).

On the merger and acquisition front, Botox-maker Allergan has rejected the $48-billion (U.S.) hostile takeover bid by Quebec-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. It says the bid undervalues Allergan, isn’t in the best interests of the U.S. company and creates risks and uncertainties for its shareholders. The California-based company also says the offer doesn’t reflect its future earnings and growth. Valeant shares dipped 49 cents to $142.47.

Investors also looked ahead of a busy week for economic news that should reassure investors that the U.S. economy is recovering from the damage caused by a severe winter.

The April reading on U.S. retail sales will be released on Tuesday, capacity utilization and industrial production data Thursday and April housing stars numbers along with the May reading on consumer confidence from the University of Michigan on Friday.

Together, they are expected to indicate that the U.S. economy will run ahead 3.8 per cent in the second quarter after likely contracting in the January-March period.

It’s a light week for Canadian data. Statistics Canada releases the March report on manufacturing shipments on Thursday.

The base metals sector led TSX advancers, up three per cent while July copper gained seven cents to $3.15 (U.S.) a pound.

June bullion added $13.90 to $1,301.50, pushing the gold sector up 1.45 per cent.

The energy sector climbed one per cent while June crude ran up 75 cents to $100.74 a barrel.

Meanwhile, the European Union added 13 more people, and two enterprises to its Ukraine list for visa bans and asset freezes. The EU made the move Monday after pro-Russian insurgents claimed 89 per cent of those who cast ballots Sunday in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region and about 96 per cent of those who turned out in the neighbouring Luhansk region voted for sovereignty in referenda staged during the weekend. It remained unclear whether the vote could lead to their secession.

In other corporate news, Chemtrade Logistics Income Fund says it has an agreement to sell its refinery services business in Montreal to Suncor Energy Products Inc. for roughly $120-million. Chemtrade’s Montreal business provides sulphur removal and other services only to Suncor’s Montreal refinery. Chemtrade units were unchanged from Friday at $20.60.

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