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The open: Commodities lift Toronto stocks

A labourer uses a stick to arrange newly produced reinforcing steel rings at a steel and iron factory in Shanxi province in this photo taken in March. In China, the consumption of raw materials by exporters is giving way to rising domestic demand.


The prospect that Greek voters may finally be facing up to the consequences of leaving the euro zone helped lift global stocks markets on Monday.

Toronto stocks showed early gains, with the S&P/TSX advancing by 55.87 points, to 11,632.34 points.

Trading activity will be lighter than normal today, with U.S. markets closed for the Memorial Day holiday and no major earnings reports or economic releases coming from either side of the border.

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On the TSX, advancing stocks outpaced decliners by a ratio of two to one. The materials and information technology sectors led the charge and financials acted as the lone drag.

Talisman Energy shares climbed 4 per cent. Goldcorp shares rose more than 1 per cent. Shares of Royal Bank of Canada slid 2 per cent. The country's largest bank said Monday third-quarter results will be aided by the release of $130-million in provisions set up to deal with uncertainty surrounding several tax matters. It also said it expects to earn $50-million in interest income, after taxes, related to taxes paid in previous years.

In Greece, several polls released over the weekend showed the conservative New Democracy party, a supporter the bailout plan, with a small lead over the anti-austerity leftist party, SYRIZA.

The poll results suggested that Europe's weakest link might be willing after all to take the necessary steps to manage its financial crisis. The news spurred investors to take on greater risk, helping drive up prices of commodities, which also got a boost from a report that inventory levels of some metals had sunk in China.

Copper rose four cents to $3.48 (U.S.) a pound. The price of a barrel of oil increased by 89 cents to $91.75. Gold gained $8.50 an ounce to trade at $1,577.40. The loonie rose almost half a cent against the U.S. dollar, hitting 97.62 cents in early trading.

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