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North American markets open modestly higher; loonie little-changed

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was steady as North American stock markets began the day on a positive note.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 52.35 points at 14,805.40 shortly after the open Wednesday.The Dow Jones industrial average was up 45.30 points at 17,949.78, the Nasdaq index rose 17.77 points to 5,073.32, and the S&P 500 advanced 5.32 points to 2,101.61.The loonie was little-changed, rising 0.01 cent US to 81.23 cents.On the commodity markets, the July crude contract was up 97 cents at US$60.94 a barrel and the August gold contract down $2.90 to US$1,178.00 an ounce.

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