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At the open: Markets rise as Crimea tensions ease

Ukrainian seamen stand guard on the Ukrainian navy ship Slavutich at harbor of Sevastopol, Ukraine, Monday, March 3, 2014. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said that Russian forces that have overtaken Ukraine's strategic region of Crimea are demanding that the ship's crew surrender.

Andrew Lubimov/AP

The Toronto stock market advanced amid signs of easing tensions in the Russian-Ukraine standoff.

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 40.23 points to 14,252.97. The Canadian dollar rose 0.10 of a cent to 90.32 cents (U.S.).

Tensions are still high after Russian troops invaded the Crimean peninsula over the weekend. But they were ratcheted down somewhat after Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered tens of thousands of Russian troops participating in military exercises near Ukraine's border to return to their bases.

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U.S. indexes were sharply higher in the wake of major losses yesterday. The Dow Jones industrials jumped 179.59 points to 16,347.62, the Nasdaq gained 55.33 points to 4,332.63 and the S&P 500 index ran up 18.65 points to 1,864.38.

But analysts still warn that the situation in Eastern Europe remains highly volatile for global markets.

Meanwhile, Scotiabank reported $1.71-billion of quarterly net income, up 6.5 per cent from a year earlier. Ex-items, earnings came in at $1.34 a share, which met estimates. The bank is raising its dividend three per cent to 64 cents a share.

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