Canadian Manufacturing

Uptick in manufacturing shipments pushes loonie higher

Statistics Canada reported that manufacturing sales rose 1.7 per cent in December, far higher than the expected 0.5 per cent



TORONTO—The Canadian dollar was higher February 13 amid a strong reading on manufacturing shipments and rising commodity prices.

The loonie was ahead 0.14 of a cent to 80.2 cents US as Statistics Canada reported that manufacturing sales rose 1.7 per cent in December, far higher than the 0.5 per cent reading that economists had expected.

The showing was especially impressive given a 9.3 per cent drop in sales of petroleum and a 9.3 per cent drop in coal products sales. Excluding the petroleum and coal product industry, manufacturing sales were up 3.2 per cent.

Commodities advanced with March crude ahead $1.57 to US$52.78 a barrel.

Market sentiment was also lifted Friday by solid economic news from Europe.

Official data show that the German economy grew by 0.7 per cent compared with the previous three-month period, which was much better than the 0.3 per cent rise economists had expected. The figure reported by the Federal Statistical Office on Friday contrasted with an increase of only 0.1 per cent in the third quarter and a decline of 0.1 per cent in the second quarter.

Other data showed that overall economic output across the 18 eurozone countries was 0.3 per cent higher in the fourth quarter than the previous three-month period. That equates to an annualized rate of around 1.2 per cent, which is still only about half the growth rate in the U.S.

The fourth-quarter performance was nevertheless higher than the 0.2 per cent increased anticipated by investors.

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