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The Globe and Mail

At the open: Positive economic data lift TSX

The screens at the TMX Broadcast Centre in Toronto show the TSX’s closing numbers up 32.42 points on July 11, 2012.

Matthew Sherwood for The Globe and Mail

The Toronto stock market shot ahead out of the gate Tuesday as higher commoditity prices led broad gains.

The S&P/TSX composite index moved up 47.64 points to 12,361.18. The TSX Venture Exchange fell 0.81 of a point to 1,332.65.

The Canadian dollar increased 0.09 of a cent to 102.26 cents US.

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In commodities, November crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange moved up 71 cents to US$92.64 a barrel. The TSX energy sector gained 0.06 per cent.

The gold sector rose 1.2 per cent as December bullion increased $9.10 to US$1,773.70 an ounce. December copper was ahead 2.8 cents to US$3.76 a pound.

A report from Statistics Canada said retail sales rose 0.7 per cent to $39 billion in July, more than offsetting a decline in June. The increase was largely weighted in higher sales of cars, trucks and auto parts, as well as general merchandise.

South of the border, the Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller index report showed that national home prices increased 1.2 per cent in July compared with the same month last year. Prices rose in July from June in all 20 cities tracked by the report. It's the third straight month in which prices rose in every city

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials jumped 21.38 points to 13,580.30. The Nasdaq composite index gained 10.64 points to 3,171.42 and the S&P 500 index was 3.47 points higher to 1,460.36.

In Canada, Forbes & Manhattan Coal Corp. (TSX:FMC) says it's buying majority stakes in an operating coal mine and an undeveloped anthracite deposit in South Africa from Rio Tinto PLC (NYSE:RIO) for about C$52.3 million plus royalties. Its shares were ahead four cents to 69 cents.

Meanwhile, Caterpillar Inc., the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, is lowering expectations for its profit in 2015 because of slower-than-expected growth in the global economy.

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And Staples says it is speeding up the closure of about 15 of its U.S. stores and plans to close 45 stores and some delivery businesses in Europe.

Spain is due to unveil this week a new series of cost-cutting measures and structural reforms that could pave the way for a demand for financial aid from its fellow eurozone countries. But hopes that Madrid will apply for the aid were overcome by concern that it was delaying the move. Spain has been reluctant to ask since such assistance comes with strings attached.

Another key issue is whether eurozone countries will grant Greece more time to reach its deficit reduction targets. The country also needs to finalize a package of austerity measures but political leaders are struggling to compromise as popular anger increases.

By late morning in Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.13 per cent to 5,846.61 while Germany's DAX rose 0.03 per cent to 7,418.18 and France's CAC-40 dropped 0.04 per cent to 3,495.77.

Earlier, in Asia, trading was uneven. Japan's Nikkei 225 index zigzagged throughout the day until closing 0.3 per cent higher at 9,091.54. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was marginally higher at 20,698.68. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.6 per cent to 1,991.41. Mainland China's Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 per cent to 2,029.29.

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