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Markets rose comfortably at the open, after a weekend pledge for more stimulus funding and renewed activity in the merger market sparked buying.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.53 per cent, or 50.1 points, to 9,481.37 while the broader S&P 500 gained 0.74 per cent, or 7.55 points, to 1,023.95.

"The economic calendar is looking quiet for this afternoon so all eyes will be on both the oil and gold prices which have been lending their support of late," said Ian Griffiths, a dealer at CMC Markets.

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If that's where the direction is going to come from, then things are looking good. Oil pushed toward $70 (U.S.) a barrel, while gold topped $1,000 an ounce. The gains helped push the S&P/TSX 1.04 per cent higher, or 114.05 points, to 11,131.62.

Markets around the world moved higher to start the week after Kraft Foods Inc. made an $18-billion (Canadian) bid for Cadbury, and news that Deutsche Telekom AG and France Telecom SA plan to merge their British mobile phone units. Meanwhile, G20 leaders promised to keep the spending taps open to ensure an economic recovery takes hold.

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