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Canadian dollar closes higher ahead of heavy slate of economic data this week

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar closed higher Monday ahead of a heavy slate of North American economic data coming down this week.

The loonie gained 0.12 of a cent to 92.59 cents US.

There is one major Canadian economic report out this week. Statistics Canada posts May gross domestic product figures on Thursday and economists are looking for a 0.3 per cent gain for the month.

In the U.S., traders will look to second quarter GDP data out Tuesday. Growth is expected to come in at an annualized pace of three per cent after severe winter weather was mainly responsible for a 2.9 per cent contraction in the first quarter.

The U.S. Federal Reserve makes its scheduled announcement on interest rates on Wednesday. Traders will look for clues about whether the Fed could move on hiking rates earlier than the middle of 2015, which is generally expected.

And on Friday, traders will consider the latest reading on the health of the American manufacturing sector from the Institute for Supply Management, while the U.S. government releases its employment report for July. Economists expect that about 230,000 jobs were created during the month.

Canadian employment data for July will be released August 8.

September copper was unchanged at US$3.24 a pound amid positive Chinese industrial data.

Government data out Sunday showed a 17.9 per cent surge in net income last month compared to a year ago at China's largest industrial concerns. The gain outpaced an 8.9 per cent increase in May but some of the improvement was due to statistical distortion.

September crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange lost 42 cents to US$101.67 a barrel.

August bullion was unchanged at US$1,303.30 an ounce.

The Canadian Press

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