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Loonie rises amid strong European, Chinese manufacturing data

A Canadian dollar or loonie.

Jonathan Hayward/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Canadian dollar was slightly higher Thursday amid rising metal prices and strong manufacturing reports from China and Europe.

The loonie was up 0.02 of a cent to 93.23 cents US amid a dearth of domestic economic data.

China's manufacturing rose in July to its highest level in 18 months.

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The preliminary HSBC purchasing managers' index rose to 52.0 in July from 50.7 in June. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

And in Europe, financial information company Markit said Thursday that its purchasing managers' index rose to a three-month high of 54 points in July from 52.8 in June. Much of the increase was due to ongoing economic strength in Germany, Europe's biggest economy. However, Markit also found businesses in the "periphery" countries outside of Germany and France expanding at their fastest pace since 2007.

Overall, Markit says the eurozone is growing at a 0.4 per cent quarterly tick, which equates to an annualized 1.6 per cent rate.

On the commodity markets, the Chinese manufacturing data sent September copper up five cents to US$3.26 a pound.

September crude declined 23 cents to US$102.89 a barrel, while August gold was down $5.80 to US$1,298.90 an ounce.

Traders also took in a security breach at the European Central Bank.

The ECB said Thursday that email addresses and other contact information have been stolen from a database that serves its public website, though it stressed that no internal systems or market-sensitive data were compromised.

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About 20,000 email addresses may have been compromised, along with a much smaller number of phone numbers and street addresses.

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