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Loonie ends lower as U.S. economy shows signs of improvement

The loonie slipped for a second session this week as the latest data from the U.S. showed that an economic recovery is moving forward at a steady pace.

The Canadian dollar closed down 0.38 of a cent to 96.68 cents (U.S.).

The slide came after the U.S. Commerce Department said retail sales edged up in July despite a drop in auto demand. The report said retail sales increased 0.2 per cent in July from June.

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Sales had risen 0.6 per cent in June from May. The change in both months was driven by autos, which surged 2.9 per cent in June but fell 1 per cent in July.

The positive U.S. data are evidence that Canada is being outpaced by its biggest trading partner. However, many economists have said Canada will benefit from a revival in the United States, which has been slow to rebound from the recession.

Last week, Canada's unemployment rate rose as Statistics Canada reported a net loss of 39,400 jobs in July, with public sector workers and youth taking on the biggest share of the losses.

Meanwhile, the September crude contract gained 72 cents to settle at $106.83 a barrel.

December gold bullion dropped $13.70 to $1,320.50 an ounce, while September copper increased 1 cent to $3.31 a pound.

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