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Loonie ends slightly lower as markets await rate news

Canadian dollars.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Canadian dollar closed lower Monday amid generally quiet trading as U.S. markets were closed for the Memorial Day holiday and traders looked ahead to the Bank of Canada's next announcement on interest rates.The loonie dropped 0.15 of a cent to 96.74 cents (U.S.).

The Bank of Canada makes its next announcement Wednesday, the last such word on rates from outgoing central bank governor Mark Carney.

"Carney's last interest rate decision won't have any fireworks, with no move on rates and likely no change in the final lines of the statement that allude to a period on hold, followed at some point by a hike," CIBC World Markets chief economist Avery Shenfeld said in a commentary.

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On commodity markets, oil prices continued to be squeezed after a survey on China's monthly manufacturing pace released last week showed a bigger-than-expected decline. The July crude contract was down 50 cents at $93.65 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The June bullion contract gained $6.70 to $1,393.30 an ounce while July copper added a cent to $3.30 a pound.

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