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TSX heads into weekend a little higher

The Toronto stock market closed slightly higher amid a mixed bag of economic data while traders kept a close eye on how U.S. budget negotiations are progressing.

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 36.19 points to 12,239.04. The TSX Venture climbed 2.52 points to 1,220.9 with traders unwilling to make big commitments while Democrat and Republican leaders wrangle over ways to avoid steep spending cuts and significant tax increases from kicking in automatically in January if there's no deal.

"No one is wanting to step in and take a position ahead of seeing if there's a resolution with the fiscal cliff," said Jennifer Dowty, portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management.

"In order to get the markets moving, we need to see a fiscal cliff resolution. Until that time, the markets, I think, are just going to lack momentum and continue to trade sideways."

The Canadian dollar was down 0.09 of a cent to 100.64 cents US as the economy stalled out during September. Statistics Canada reported there was no growth in gross domestic product during that month following a 0.1 per cent dip during August.

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