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Loonie slips on retail sales

The Canadian dollar declined Thursday amid a disappointing read on retail sales.

The loonie declined 0.07 of a cent to 100.28 cents US as Statistics Canada reported that sales edged up just 0.1 per cent to $39.1 billion in September.

That came on top of increases in the previous two months. But economists had expected retail sales to rise by 0.5 per cent during the month.

The loonie had been higher earlier in the morning amid other data showing that the Chinese manufacturing sector moved back into expansion territory in November for the first time in 13 months.

HSBC Corp.'s purchasing managers' index rose from 49.5 in October to 50.4 in November. Any reading over 50 indicates expansion. The PMI index measures overall manufacturing activity by surveying numerous indicators including orders, employment and actual production.

The HSBC reading was particularly good news for the global economy, which is still recovering slowly from the 2008 financial crisis and recession.

Copper price rose in the wake of the report with the December contract up a cent to US$3.51 a pound. Copper is viewed as an economic bellwether as it is used in so many applications. China is the world's biggest consumer of the metal.

The December gold bullion contract was ahead $3.10 to US$1,731.30 an ounce.

The Canadian Press

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