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Canadian dollar ends nearly unchanged

Canadian dollars shown with U.S dollars.

Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Canadian dollar closed little changed Wednesday amid higher commodity prices and data that showed economic growth went into reverse in August.

The loonie closed well off the best levels of the session ending the day up 0.03 of a cent to $1.001 (U.S.). It had moved as high as $1.0039 before Statistics Canada reported that gross domestic product edged down 0.1 per cent in August, the first monthly decline since last February.

A 0.2 per cent rise had been expected.

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The agency said that the decline came mainly as a result of decreases in mining and oil and gas extraction and in manufacturing. Declines were also recorded in utilities and construction.

"Services provided no support... with retail sales down as expected, and with finance, insurance and real estate declining mildly, likely reflecting the drop in housing resale activity in the wake of CHMC rule tightening," noted CIBC World Markets economist Emanuella Enenajor.

Traders also looked ahead to the other major economic report of the week, the October employment report on Friday. Statistics Canada is expected to report the economy cranked out 7,500 jobs.

It was a more active session on global markets as New York equity, bond and commodity markets reopened for business after damage from superstorm Sandy forced a two-day shutdown.

The NYSE is using backup generators because power is out in much of downtown Manhattan.

Wall Street experts had feared another delay might lead to a dangerous backlog of customer orders to buy and sell stock.

Meanwhile, CME Group's Nymex headquarters and trading floor was also back to normal.

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The December crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 56 cents to $86.24 a barrel.

December copper gained 1 cent to $3.52 a pound while December gold bullion climbed $7 to $1,719.10 an ounce.

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