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Loonie heads lower as commodity prices weaken

Canadian currency is seen in this file photo.

Feng Yu/Getty Images/Hemera

The Canadian dollar headed lower Thursday as commodity prices continued to soften following a round of disappointing U.S. economic reports on unemployment and housing.

The loonie was down 0.10 of a cent to 98.21 cents US.

In addition to a pullback in commodity prices, the dollar could be affected by the Bank of Canada's release of three commentaries on topics ranging from monetary policy to the currency market.

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June gold bullion fell $20.10 (U.S.) to $1,376.10 an ounce and July copper dipped a penny to $3.25. The June crude contract was up 27 cents to $94.57 a barrel.

Overseas, European markets fell after the European Union statistics office reported that nine of the 17 countries that use the euro are in recession, including France.

The combined economy of the 17 countries shrank by 0.2 per cent in the first three months of 2013 compared to the prior quarter.

Germany, whose growth supports lesser economies in the region, expanded by a slight 0.1 per cent in the first quarter of the year, undershooting expectations of a 0.3 per cent rise.

Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.1 per cent to 6,699.35. Germany's DAX fell 0.1 per cent to 8,351.80. France's CAC-40 lost 0.2 per cent to 3,973.65.

Earlier in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.2 per cent to 23,082.68. South Korea's Kospi added 0.8 per cent to 1,986.81. Japan's Nikkei lost 0.4 per cent to close at 15,037.24. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.5 per cent to 5,165.70.

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