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Canadian Dollar and Business Outlook: Loonie above 79 U.S. cents

Canadian economy expands in January

Compiled by Glen Hallick, MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, March 2 (MarketsFarm) – The Canadian dollar was higher Tuesday morning, buoyed by good economic news from Statistics Canada and by rising crude oil prices.

As of 8:47 CST, the Canadian dollar was at US$0.7907 or C$1.2650, compared to Monday’s close of US$0.7898 or C$1.2661.

Statistics Canada issued a flash estimate on Tuesday that the country’s economy grew 0.5 per cent in January, an improvement over the 0.1 per cent growth in December. The foundation of January’s expansion came from a 2.9 per cent jump in the mining and energy industries. On the downside, the federal agency also reported the Canadian economy shrank 5.4 per cent in 2020 due the COVID-19 pandemic.

Benchmark crude oil prices were higher Tuesday morning, as the OPEC+ alliance announced its production was down 920,000 barrels per day in January. However, alliance co-leader Russia said it wants to boost production, while Saudi Arabia, the other co-leader, is pushing for continued production cuts.

Brent crude oil was up 22 cents at US$63.91 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) rose 30 cents at US$60.94/barrel. Western Canadian Select (WCS) gained 71 cents at US$49.61/barrel.

At the opening the TSX/S&P Composite Index rose 59.40 points at 18,359.02.

Gold was up US$3.60 at US$1,726.60 per ounce.

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