Loonie rises on Chinese manufacturing data

The Canadian dollar closed higher Monday as a strong economic report from China lifted commodity prices in a subdued market just hours ahead of the New Year’s holiday. The commodity-sensitive currency rose 0.16 of a cent to 100.51 cents US.

TORONTO — The Canadian dollar closed higher Monday as a strong economic report from China lifted commodity prices in a subdued market just hours ahead of the New Year’s holiday.

The commodity-sensitive currency rose 0.16 of a cent to 100.51 cents US.

Copper prices advanced as the HSBC China manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to a final reading of 51.5, the best reading since May, 2011. The reading was an upward revision from the preliminary 50.9 result and an improvement from November’s PMI of 50.5.

The March copper contract was up six cents to US$3.65 a pound. China is the world’s biggest consumer of the metal, which is viewed as an economic barometer as it is used in so many applications.

Oil prices also gained ground with the February contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange up $1.02 at US$91.82 a barrel.

Gold bullion prices also improved, with the March contract ahead $19.90 to US$1,675.80 an ounce.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama offered fresh hope that some kind of a deal is in the works to blunt the worst of automatic tax hikes set to take effect Jan. 1.

Big, across-the-board spending cuts were also set to take effect Tuesday, part of a scenario known as going over the “fiscal cliff.”

Economists fear the double-barreled hit could push the U.S. back into recession if they are allowed to stand.

Obama told a news conference that such a proposed deal would extend tax credits for families with children and for clean energy companies and also extend unemployment insurance to two million Americans.

He said he would have preferred “a more comprehensive deal that solved our budget problems in a balanced and a responsible way….but that is a bit too much to hope for now.”

And he cautioned that while negotiators for the Democrats and Republicans are close to a deal, “they’re not there yet.”

Just Posted

BlackBerry to buy cybersecurity company Cylance for US$1.4 billion

WATERLOO, Ont. — BlackBerry Ltd. has signed a deal to acquire U.S.… Continue reading

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed, preserved to honour his work

SASKATOON — When Chris Wenzel knew he was going to die, he… Continue reading

Occupational safety officers investigate deaths of three people near Edmonton

LEDUC, Alta. — RCMP say three men have died in a workplace… Continue reading

Firearms licence screening backlogs pose safety risks: RCMP audit

OTTAWA — Investigations into whether gun licences should be revoked due to… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Price shines as Canadiens score twice in third period to rally past Flames

CALGARY — In a duel of struggling goaltenders, one returned to vintage… Continue reading

Quebec literary prize on hold after Amazon sponsorship controversy

MONTREAL — A prestigious Quebec literary prize has been suspended amid public… Continue reading

‘No limits:’ Ill-Abilities breakdance crew teams up with Les Grands Ballets

MONTREAL — Luca ‘Lazylegz’ Patuelli’s crutches become an extension of his arms… Continue reading

One month after legalization, illicit cannabis shops doing brisk business

TORONTO — The three surveillance cameras and the steady flow of people… Continue reading

Lowry has strong words for Raptors’ lack of communication after loss

TORONTO — Raptors coach Nick Nurse might not have had a good… Continue reading

S. Korea’s ‘Garlic Girls’ accuse coaches of derailing team

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — The Garlic Girls, South Korea’s hugely popular… Continue reading

Trump administration defends its case against CNN’s Acosta

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s administration is trying to fend off a… Continue reading

Long hidden, Marie Antoinette’s jewels go up for auction

GENEVA — Diamond and pearl earrings, pearl necklaces, a giant pearl pendant… Continue reading

Most Read