Canadian dollar gaining strength, flirts with 78 cents US

Highest close since July 14

TORONTO — The loonie flirted with 78 cents US for the first time in nearly two months, but lost some of its strength after the release of economic data on both sides of the border.

The Canadian dollar was trading up 0.29 of a cent at 77.71 cents US in the wake of U.S. housing, inflation and manufacturing reports and better-than-expected Canadian manufacturing data.

The loonie has been gaining strength since July 26, and traded as high as 78.11 cents US on Tuesday morning shortly before the economic data was released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The loonie ended Monday at 77.42 cents US — the highest close since July 14.

Toronto and U.S. stock markets began the day on a negative footing.

The S&P/TSX composite index lost 54.78 points at 14,722.26, while the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 62.39 points to 18,574.66. The S&P 500 slipped 8.88 points to 2,181.27 and the Nasdaq composite declined 27.56 points to 5,234.45.

The September crude contract was up 11 cents at US$45.85 per barrel.

September natural gas was down 1.5 cents at US$2.60 per mmBTU, September copper was up less than a cent at US$2.56 per pound and December gold contracts edged up 50 cents to US$1,348.00.


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