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Loonie lower after string of advances

Canadian Press, The Canadian Press
0 Comments| June 24, 2014

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was slightly lower Tuesday following four days of gains that lifted the currency to its highest level since early January.

The loonie dipped 0.05 of a cent to 93.18 cents US.

The Canadian currency had jumped almost 1.2 cents since last Tuesday's close, as oil and gold prices advanced amid geopolitical concerns centred around a rising insurgency in Iraq and tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

The loonie had also found support from stronger than expected inflation data which raised expectations that the Bank of Canada could raise interest rates sooner than thought.

Meanwhile, traders awaited the release of some key U.S. economic data during the morning.

They will digest the latest data on house prices from S&P/Case-Shiller and the Federal Housing Finance Agency for April.

And the U.S. Commerce Department is expected to report that new home sales increased to 440,000 in May. In April, the annual rate of new single-family home sales rose 6.4 per cent to 433,000.

Also, the U.S. Conference Board releases its June reading on consumer confidence. The index is expected to edge up to 83.5 from 83 in May.

Oil prices ticked higher with the August crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange up six cents to US$106.23 a barrel.

Oil prices had risen steadily over the past couple of weeks amid a rising insurgency in Iraq. But prices fell on Monday as fears receded about the affect on oil production and exports.

The bulk of Iraq’s production and export operations are in the south, which have so far been spared in this month’s advance by the al-Qaeda inspired group.

OPEC Secretary General Abdullah Al-Badry said Tuesday that Iraq is "still producing as normal," with 95 per cent of its capacity in the country’s south being unaffected by the violence.

Gold prices have also steadily advanced this month because of geopolitical worries centred around Iraq and tensions between Ukraine and Russia and on Tuesday, the August bullion contract in New York rose $6.40 to US$1,324.80 an ounce.

Copper was unchanged at US$3.15 a pound following a three-cent rise Monday sparked by strong Chinese manufacturing data.

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