Canadian Financial Close: Loonie drops, gold freefalls

WINNIPEG – The Canadian dollar fell below the 79 cent United States mark on Thursday due to a stronger U.S. dollar and a decline in Canadian housing starts.

The loonie was at US$0.7890 or US$1=C$1.2674 on Thursday, up from Wednesday’s close of US$0.7905 or US$1=C$1.2651. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported on Thursday the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts declined from 270,744 units in July to 260,239 units in August.

The U.S. Dollar Index jumped 0.31 of a point at 92.85.

Benchmark crude oil prices were steady to higher on Thursday. Brent crude oil increased US$0.19 per barrel to US$75.65. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil was down one cent to US$72.60/barrel. Western Canadian Select (WCS) crude oil was up three cents to US$60.52/barrel.

The TSX/S&P Composite Index lost 91.69 points to 20,602.10.

As speculation increases that the U.S. Federal Reserve may taper off bond-buying and raise the key interest rate starting next week, gold fell US$40.80 per ounce to US$1,754.00.

Canada’s agricultural sector fared as follows:

Buhler Industries unchanged at $ 3.22
Farmer’s Edge Inc. up $ 0.30 at $ 5.07
Linamar Corp. dn $ 2.25 at $ 67.11
Maple Leaf Foods up $ 0.34 at $ 27.45
Nutrien Ltd. dn $ 0.03 at $ 80.12
Ritchie Bros Auctioneers Inc. dn $ 0.87 at $ 79.85

(All figures are in Canadian dollars.)


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