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The Globe and Mail

The Open: Small gains as markets await next catalyst

The Federal Reserve Building stands in Washington April 3, 2012.


North American markets followed European stocks higher on Tuesday. Some investors are increasingly hopeful that the U.S. Federal Reserve will offer further stimulus measures this month, but most also remain on edge ahead of Greece's election on Sunday.

As stocks inched ahead, the yield on government bonds across Europe continued to increase. Both Spain and Italy are seeing their cost of borrowing rise closer to the critical 7-per-cent mark. The yield on Spain's 10-year notes rose 13 basis points to 6.595 per cent on Tuesday.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX gained 20.94 points to 11422.72 points, with gold and energy issues posting solid gains. Shares of Bombardier Inc. were the most active. They soared nearly 7 per cent after NetJets, a unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., announced late Monday that it has signed an order with Bombardier and rival Cessna Aircraft Co. for up to 425 new business jets valued at up to $9.6-billion.

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In New York, the S&P 500 advanced 1.07 points to 1310.00 points and the Dow Jones industrial average rose 13.78 points to 12425.01 points. Financials recouped some of their losses suffered yesterday, with Citigroup shares rising nearly 2 per cent.

The latest import figures from the U.S. Labour Department showed that inflation remains at bay, with import prices for May decreasing by the largest amount in almost two years.

Copper prices climbed a fraction of a cent to $3.346 (U.S.) a pound. The price of oil rose 41 cents a barrel to $83.11. Gold increased by $6.20 an ounce, to $1,603.00. With commodities on the rise, the Canadian dollar found some momentum, rising 0.41 per cent to 97.31 cents

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