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Loonie rises before monetary speeches

The Canadian dollar was ahead Tuesday as traders awaited a key statement from U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke later this week.

The loonie was up 0.11 of a cent to 97.28 cents US.

Bernanke will speak about the central bank's aggressive monetary policy program Wednesday before the U.S. Congress. The Fed will also be releasing its minutes from its most recent meeting the same day.

On Tuesday, two Fed presidents with voting rights on the interest-rate setting committee were also scheduled for speeches. St. Louis Fed president James Bullard is set to give a speech about monetary policy in Frankfurt, while New York Fed president William Dudley will touch on Japan and U.S. policy in New York.

At issue, is how long the Fed will continue with its latest round of massive bond purchases known as quantitative easing. The aggressive monetary stimulus is aimed at driving down interest rates and encourage lending.

If the central bank reverses its policy, then it will have both an effect on stock markets and the U.S. dollar, which in turn, will impact the loonie.

In Canada, Mark Carney will deliver his last official speech as Bank of Canada governor to the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal before he leaves the central bank to head the Bank of England

On the commodities front, June gold bullion dropped $10.20 to US$1,373.90 an ounce,

The June crude contract was down 29 cents to US$96.42 a barrel and July copper jumped a penny to US$3.37 a pound

The Canadian Press

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