Canadian dollar higher amid positive Chinese, eurozone economic data

TORONTO – The Canadian dollar closed higher Thursday amid positive economic news from Europe and China and rising commodity prices.

The loonie gained 0.08 of a cent to 89.02 cents US.

Financial information company Markit said its composite purchasing managers’ index for the eurozone — a gauge of business activity across the manufacturing and services sectors — rose to 52.2 points in October from 52.0 in September. Anything above 50 indicates expansion.

Also, HSBC’s preliminary version of an index based on a survey of Chinese factory purchasing managers rose to 50.4 from 50.2 in September. HSBC’s chief China economist, Hongbin Qu, said manufacturing likely stabilized in October but the world’s No. 2 economy continues to show signs of “insufficient” demand.

Financial markets have been volatile over the last month amid worries that the eurozone could slip back into recession and that China’s economy was weakening.

The loonie had slipped 0.12 of a cent Wednesday as the Bank of Canada left its key rate unchanged at one per cent.

Prices were mixed on commodity markets with December crude ahead $1.57 to US$82.09 a barrel after data showing U.S. inventories much higher than expected last week and a higher U.S. currency had pushed oil prices to a two-year low.

December copper gained two cents to US$3.04 a pound while December gold bullion fell $16.40 to US$1,229.10 an ounce.