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Traders relay a trade on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. (JOHN GRESS/REUTERS)
Traders relay a trade on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. (JOHN GRESS/REUTERS)

At the open: TSX at more than 2-year high, S&P 500 at record Add to ...

The Toronto stock market was higher Friday amid strong economic data from China and solid earnings reports from General Electric and Morgan Stanley.

The S&P/TSX composite index rose 48.22 points to 13,084.58.

The Canadian dollar was up 0.05 of a cent to 97.2 cents US as inflation pressures increased slightly in September.

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Statistics Canada said the Consumer Price Index rose by 0.2 per cent. That was on top of a 0.1 per cent rise in August.

The agency says the CPI rose 1.1 per cent in the 12 months to September, which matched the rate in August.

U.S. indexes were mixed as the Dow Jones industrials dipped 6.91 points to 15,364.74, the Nasdaq rose 25.61 points to 3,888.75 and the S&P 500 index was ahead 5.88 points at 1,739.03 after hitting another record high close Thursday.

There was positive news from the world’s second-biggest economy as China’s growth rebounded in the latest quarter to 7.8 per cent from a two-decade low of 7.5 per cent in the second quarter, helped by government stimulus measures.

Copper prices advanced in the wake of the data from China, the world’s biggest consumer of the metal. The December contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose one cent to US$US$3.31 a pound. The TSX base metals sector advanced 0.37 per cent and First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) climbed 17 cents to C$18.82.

The energy sector rose 0.2 per cent as oil also advanced with the November contract in New York 63 cents higher at US$101.30 a barrel.

The gold sector was up 0.4 per cent while December gold bullion lost $6.10 to US$1,316.90 an ounce after running ahead more than $40 on Thursday.

In earnings news, General Electric’s net income fell nine per cent in the third quarter to $3.19-billion, or 31 cents per share, on revenue of $35.7-billion. Ex-items, GE earned 40 cents per share, five cents higher than forecast and its shares rose 64 cents to US$25.32.

Investment bank Morgan Stanley says that its third-quarter earnings almost doubled as the firm’s equity sales and trading revenue rose. The bank earned $1.01-billion, or 50 cents a share, after stripping out an accounting charge, a dime higher than analysts forecasts. Its shares gained 49 cents to $29.42.

And after the close Thursday, Google Inc. posted earnings of nearly $3-billion, or $8.75 per share, for the three months ended in September. If not for its expenses for employee stock compensation, Google said it would have earned $10.74 per share, topping the average estimate of $10.36 per share among analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue for the third quarter rose 12 per cent from last year to $14.9-billion. After subtracting commissions paid to Google’s ad partners, Google’s revenue stood at $11.9-billion, about $227-million above analysts’ predictions and its stock surged $90.71, or 10.2 per cent, to $979.51.

North American markets closed mainly higher Thursday and the TSX closed above 13,000 for the first time in more than two years amid relief that U.S. lawmakers had reached an agreement to end the partial government shutdown and extend the debt limit, thus averting a possible default.

But investor relief has been subdued by concerns over the cost of Washington’s drawn out political battle and the likelihood of another high stakes standoff early next year when the short-term increase to the debt ceiling runs out.

European bourses also advanced as London’s FTSE 100 index gained 0.54 per cent, Frankfurt’s DAX rose 0.29 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 was ahead 0.8 per cent.

In Asia, the solid Chinese data pushed Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 0.9 per cent, China’s Shanghai Composite Index added 0.4 per cent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.7 per cent.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 bucked the trend, dropping 0.2 per cent.

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