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Toronto, New York markets higher after big drop prompted by Greek debt woes

TORONTO - Buyers returned to North American markets after frantic selling the previous session that was sparked by the Greek debt crisis drove most indexes into the red for the year to date.The S&P/TSX composite index closed up a solid 63.18 points at 14,553.33, but still finished the first six months of the year with a slight loss courtesy of an almost 318-point plunge on Monday.The loonie was down sharply, off 0.64 of a U.S. cent at 80.06 cents amid speculation of a possible rate cut by the Bank of Canada after Statistics Canada reported gross domestic product contracted for a fourth consecutive month in April.In New York, indexes were also higher after big drops Tuesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average advancing 23.16 points to 17,619.51 following a 350-point drop Monday, its biggest of the year.Meanwhile, the Nasdaq bounced back 28.40 points to 4,986.87 and the S&P 500 added 5.48 points to 2,063.12 and was marginally in positive territory for the year to date.On the New York Mercantile Exchange, the August oil contract rose $1.14 to US$59.47 a barrel, while the August gold fell $7.20 to US$1,171.80 an ounce.Canadian markets will be closed Wednesday for the Canada Day holiday. New York markets will remain open but close Friday in advance of the July 4th Independence Day holiday, which falls on Saturday this year.

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