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At the open: BlackBerry shares jump, helping TSX to stay positive

Thorsten Heins, president and CEO at Research In Motion, holds up the new BlackBerry 10 mobile device at a conference, Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in Orlando, Fla. The company’s annual general meeting in Waterloo, Ont., on Tuesday morning is likely to be dominated by questions about RIM’s disappointing fiscal first-quarter results.

John Raoux/AP

The Toronto stock market was higher in early trading on Monday as the materials sector gained traction and shares of BlackBerry got a pop after the company launched a strategic alternatives plan.

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 21.79 points to 12,563.92 shortly after open.

The Canadian dollar was off 0.03 of a cent to 97.11 cents.

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TSX materials stock led the way, up 3.2 per cent, as gold prices moved higher.

The December bullion contract rose $28.50 to $1,340.70 (U.S.) an ounce. September copper edged up half a cent to $3.32 a pound.

Shares of BlackBerry (TSX:BB) rose 6.3 per cent as the struggling Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone marker said it's weighing its options and has brought in a committee to assess strategic alternatives, which could include selling itself, a joint venture or other options.

The company's stock gained 62 cents to $10.67.

The TSX energy sector slid 0.1 per cent as the September crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 40 cents to $105.57 a barrel.

South of the border markets turned negative. The Dow Jones industrials fell 28.72 points to 15,396.79 and the S&P 500 index was 3.37 points lower at 1,688.05.

The U.S. Treasury Department is expected to report that the national deficit fell again last month when the report is released this afternoon.

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In other developments, rewards point operator Aimia Inc. (TSX:AIM) has selected TD Bank Group (TSX:TD) as the new primary credit card issuer for Aeroplan. The company says talks with its longtime partner CIBC (TSX:CM) are ongoing about a side deal.

Aimia shares gained three per cent, or 47 cents, to $15.77 while TD fell 24 cents to $86.42. CIBC was 70 cents higher to $77.61.

Dollarama Inc. (TSX:DOL) says its chief operating officer is leaving the company to become president and CEO of a California-based discount retailer, called 99-cents Only Stores. The company's shares were down $1.07 to $76.76.

In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 shed 0.3 per cent to 6,566 while Germany's DAX fell 0.8 per cent to 8,271. The CAC-40 in France was 0.4 per cent lower at 4,059.

Earlier in Asia, a possible upswing in China's economy helped boost stocks in Hong Kong and on mainland China.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 2.1 per cent to 22,271.28. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 2.4 per cent to 2,101.28. The smaller Shenzhen Composite Index rose 1.3 per cent to 1,009.13.

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