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There doesn't appear to be too much to fear this Friday the 13th - at least for the opening of North American markets. U.S. stock futures are in positive territory and commodities mostly firmed overnight, pointing to a modestly higher opening in Toronto this morning.

Improving economic growth was reported from France and Germany early this morning, increasing traders' confidence that the global economy continues on the mend and boosting the euro against the greenback. Oil prices rose to near $100 (U.S.) a barrel, copper was up nearly 2 per cent and silver was up more than 4 per cent in European trade.

With just under a couple hours to go before North American markets open, Dow Jones industrial futures were up 24 points at 12,696 and S&P 500 futures were nearly three points higher at 1,350.40.

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In European markets, Britain's FTSE 100 was up about 0.8 per cent and Germany's DAX added 0.4 per cent, both off their session highs. France's CAC-40 was up about half a per cent. Trading in Asia was relatively subdued, with major indexes there mostly within 1 per cent of unchanged.

Markets are awaiting the release of U.S. consumer price index data for April, due out at 0830 ET. Economists expect a rise of 0.4 per cent from the previous month, and 3.1 per cent year-over-year. The only other piece of significant North American economic news scheduled to be released today is the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index for May. That's due out at 955 AM ET and economists expect a reading of 70.0 compared with 69.8 in the final April report.

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About the Author
Investment Editor

Darcy Keith is The Globe and Mail's Investment Editor. He has been a business journalist since 1992 and joined the Report on Business in 2010 from Yahoo! Canada, where he was the senior editor of finance. More

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