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Canadian dollar continues revival amid U.S. retail sales miss, lower commodities

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar continued to advance from multi-year lows late Thursday morning despite mixed commodity prices and a reading on American retail sales that fell short of expectations.

The loonie climbed 0.17 of a cent to 91.1 cents US.

U.S. retail sales for January were down by 0.4 per cent against the 0.3 per cent decline that economists had expected.

Other data showed a slight rise in jobless insurance claims. Applications, which are viewed as a proxy for layoffs, rose 8,000 last week to 339,000.

Meanwhile, a major Canadian report will be released at the end of this week. Statistics Canada releases its reading on manufacturing shipments for December on Friday and economists expect that shipments dipped 0.5 per cent month over month following a one per cent gain in November.

Commodity prices were mixed, as March crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange dipped two cents to US$100.35 a barrel.

April bullion was $5.10 higher to US$1,300.10 an ounce while March copper was unchanged at US$3.25 a pound.

The loonie has enjoyed a solid bounce this month after hitting 4 1/2 year lows of about 89.5 cents US.

There are several reasons for the turnaround, including growing optimism that the Keystone XL pipeline to carry oilsands crude from Alberta to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast will be built.

Also, economists have been pricing in a lower likelihood of an interest rate cut, the latest job creation data was positive and the federal government's budget on Tuesday was well received.

The Canadian Press


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