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Markets higher over fiscal cliff deal

Stock markets raced higher shortly after the open as investors returned to trading for the first time since the U.S. Congress agreed on measures to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff."

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 149.28 points to 12,582.81 while the TSX Venture Exchange was ahead 18.65 points to 1,239.95.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial jumped 233.60 points to 13,337.74, the Nasdaq rose 81.83 points to 3,101.34 and the S&P 500 index gained 28.87 points to 1,455.06.

In commodities, oil prices rose with the February contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange ahead $1.62 to US$93.44 a barrel.

Gold prices picked up with the March bullion contract ahead $12.10 to US$1,687.90 an ounce. Copper prices for the March contract were up 8.4 cents to US$3.65 a pound.

The Canadian dollar rose 1.15 of a cent to 101.66 cents US.

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