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Loonie ends lower on weak manufacturing data

Canadian dollars.

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The Canadian dollar moved lower Friday amid rising commodity prices and disappointing manufacture data.

The loonie lost 0.33 of a cent to end at 96.72 cents (U.S.).

Statistics Canada reported that manufacturing sales fell in June for the fourth time in six months, dropping 0.5 per cent to $48.2-billion (Canadian).

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In commodities, December gold bullion rose $10.10 to $1,371.00 (U.S.) an ounce, closing at its highest level since June 19. September copper gained 2.6 cents to $3.36 a pound.

September crude contract rose 13 cents to $107.06 a barrel as supply concerns returned following renewed unrest in Egypt.

Though not an oil exporter, Egypt controls the Suez canal that links the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea, giving it a crucial role in maintaining global energy supplies.

"Commodities have found some support in the unlikely ally of a softer U.S. dollar, at least against the other majors," BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. chief economist Douglas Porter said in a note.

"While Fed tapering still appears likely to commence this fall, markets have been underwhelmed by U.S. growth in 2013. This week brought another round of uninspiring results, as each of retail sales, industrial production and housing starts came in shy of consensus for July."

The U.S. Commerce Department reported that builders began work last month on houses and apartments at a faster pace. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of starts was up 6 per cent to 896,000.

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