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TSX up, traders look to Fed meeting for clues on whether stimulus to be tapered

TORONTO – The Toronto stock market closed higher as traders hope for more clarity from the U.S. Federal Reserve on whether it might start to ease up on stimulus measures.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 101.53 points at 12,288.9 a day before the start of a two-day Fed meeting.

The Canadian dollar was off 0.08 of a cent at 98.26 cents US.

New York’s Dow industrials closed off the highs of the session but was still up 109.67 points to 15,179.85. Gains started to fade after the Financial Times said Fed chairman Ben Bernanke will use a news conference Wednesday to signal the bank will start to cut back on its US$85 billion of bond purchases each month.

The Nasdaq climbed 28.58 points to 3,452.13 and the S&P 500 was ahead 12.31 points to 1,639.04.

The stimulus measures have been popular. They have kept interest rates and bond yields low and kept a rally going on stock markets practically non-stop since late last year.