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FRANK GUNN/THE CANADIAN PRESS

North American markets opened with mixed results Wednesday with little on the economic calendar and the focus continuing to stay on any unfolding developments regarding Syria.

The S&P/TSX composite index fell 24.51 points to 12,799.97. The Canadian dollar was up 0.05 of a cent to 96.76 cents US.

The financial markets have settled down somewhat after President Barack Obama said that the U.S. will back down from a military strike on Syria, after the Middle East country agreed to a Russian proposal to hand over its chemical weapons. In a televised address late Tuesday, Obama said the American military will continue to stay prepared to attack if Syria reneges on its promise.

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The development followed weeks of tensions after the U.S. threatened military action against Syria for an alleged sarin gas attack on Aug. 21 that killed 1,429 people in a Damascus suburb.

U.S. indexes were higher as the Dow Jones industrial index surged 19.58 points to 15,210.64, the Nasdaq was down 15.22 points to 3,1713.80 and the S&P 500 fell 1.92 points to 1,682.07.

The October crude contract jumped 32 cents to $107.71 (U.S.). December bullion fell $1.20 to $1,362.80 an ounce, while December copper got ahead two cents to $3.28 a pound.

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