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Loonie unchanged amid rising commodities, traders look to Bank of Canada report

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was flat Tuesday amid rising commodity prices and data later in the morning on the financial system.

The loonie was unchanged at 94.03 cents US.

It’s a light day for North American economic data, with the only major release on the docket being the Bank of Canada's semi-annual Financial System Review during the morning.

"We expect a focus, as we have seen in recent issues, on the risks associated with historically high levels of household debt," said Mark Chandler, Head of Canadian FIC Strategy at RBC Dominion Securities.

He noted that the FSR will include a primer on the residential mortgage market.

The major U.S. report of the week, retail sales for November, comes out on Thursday. Economists expect a rise of 0.6 per cent, largely driven by higher auto sales.

Meanwhile, traders also took in positive data from the world's second-largest economy.

China’s factory production rose 10 per cent in November from a year earlier, slightly lower than analysts’ forecasts. But retail sales rose 13.7 per cent, which was stronger-than-expected.

Commodity prices advanced with the January crude contract ahead $1.02 to US$98.36 a barrel.

March copper was up two cents to US$3.27 a pound while February bullion gained $22 to US$1,256.20.

There was also uncertainty on financial markets about what the Federal Reserve may do about its asset purchase program.

Investors have hoped that the Fed likely wouldn't start tapering its US$85 billion of bond purchases until well into 2014. But a slate of strong economic data last week on manufacturing, consumer confidence and employment raised speculation that the central bank could act a lot faster, maybe as early as next week when the Fed makes its next announcement on interest rates.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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