TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was slightly higher Thursday amid mixed commodity prices and a tepid read on American consumer spending.
The loonie was up 0.1 of a cent to 93.37 cents US.
The U.S. Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.2 per cent last month after no gain in April, missing expectations for a 0.4 per cent rise.
The spending trend is regarded as strong enough to propel the economy after a dismal start to the year.
Income rose a solid 0.4 per cent in May, which met expectations, after a 0.3 per cent April gain.
Meanwhile, an inflation gauge that’s closely monitored by the U.S. Federal Reserve has risen 1.8 per cent over the past 12 months, the fastest rise since late 2012, but still below the Fed’s two per cent target.
Oil prices were lower as fears diminished somewhat over supply disruptions from Iraq with the August contract down 22 cents to US$106.28 a barrel.
July copper was unchanged at US$3.16 a pound, while August bullion faded $6.70 to US$1,315.90 an ounce.
The loonie has been on a roll recently, up about 1 1/3 cents US over the past week to a six-month high as gold and oil prices rose amid geopolitical concerns centred on 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.
But analysts caution this rally will be difficult to sustain.
Oil price increases have been driven by supply worries, not rising demand, which in turn could weigh on the American economy, said Camilla Sutton, Chief FX Strategist, Managing Director Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets.