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Canadian dollar advances, commodities mixed, traders look to Fed comments

Canadian dollars, or loonies, sits on their American counterparts on Sept. 20, 2007 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
January 03, 2014 - 5:49 AM

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was higher Friday amid a generally weaker American currency.

The loonie rose 0.52 of a cent to 94.21 cents US.

Investors looked ahead to comments later Friday by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for indications about the possible pace of further reductions in monetary stimulus.

The Fed ended months of speculation last month and announced it would reduce monthly purchases of bonds and other securities to US$75 billion, down from US$85 billion, starting in January. Those purchases are credited with supporting a strong rally on stock markets during 2013, including a 30 per cent surge in the S&P 500 to a record high.

Meanwhile, base metal prices backed off as China's official nonmanufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index fell to a four month low, coming in at 54.6 in December from 56 in November. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The nonmanufacturing PMI covers services including retail, aviation and software as well as the real-estate and construction sectors.

Other data released Thursday showed manufacturing sectors in China, the U.S. and Canada still expanding but at a slower pace.

March copper on the New York Mercantile Exchange lost three cents to US$3.35 a pound. February crude on the Nymex slipped 22 cents to US$95.22 a barrel.

February bullion gained $4.60 to US$1,229.80 an ounce.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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