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At the open: Stocks flat, commodities lower


Stock markets in Toronto and the U.S. opened without much fanfare, as they continue to scale back the large gains added mid-week and news that the Canadian inflation rate slowed last month.

The S&P/TSX composite index jumped 7.13 points to 12,933.91. The Canadian dollar lost 0.20 of a cent to 97.25 cents US.

Many traders had expected the U.S. Federal Reserve to start pulling back on its $85-billion-a-month asset purchase program, which had been put in place following the 2008 financial crisis. But on Wednesday, the U.S. central bank said it will continue to buy the mortgage bonds and Treasurys because it's still worried about the pace of the economic recovery, and the high levels of unemployment.

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The Dow Jones industrials index gained 9.37 points to 15,645.92, while the S&P added 1.34 points to 1,723.68. The Nasdaq was up 5.46 points at 3,794.84.

Meanwhile, Statistics Canada reported the national annual inflation rate slowed to 1.1 per cent in August. That compared with an increase of 1.3 per cent in July.

Commodity markets fell, taking back some of the sharp gains added following the Fed decision. December bullion dropped $16.90 $1,352.40 an ounce, while December copper dipped a penny to $3.34 pound. The October crude contract contracted 19 cents to $106.20 a barrel.

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