TORONTO - The Canadian dollar advanced Thursday morning to recover some ground lost after the Bank of Canada lowered its economic growth forecast.
The loonie was up 0.19 of a cent to 97.6 cents US after falling about six-tenths of a cent Wednesday after the central bank cut its 2013 economic growth forecast to 1.5 per cent from an earlier estimate of two per cent.
The commodity-sensitive currency has also been punished by tumbling prices for oil, copper and gold this past week.
Oil and copper have given up gains amid data showing a slowing Chinese economy while the International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for global growth to 3.3 per cent this year from its forecast in January of 3.5 per cent.
Commodity prices largely turned around Thursday but copper, viewed as an economic bellwether, continued to plumb 18-month lows because of falling demand prospects. On Thursday, the May copper contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange slipped three cents to US$3.15 a pound. Copper has fallen 13 per cent year to date.
Oil prices have also lost ground this week following the Chinese and IMF data. Prices fell a further $2 Wednesday even as a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed U.S. crude inventories falling by 1.23 million barrels in the week ended April 12. Inventories. however, are still near their highest level since 1990.
The May crude contract on the Nymex advanced $1.22 Thursday to US$87.90 a barrel.
Gold prices were higher with the June contract up $15.20 to US$1,397.90 an ounce. A higher U.S. dollar and the prospect of troubled eurozone countries selling off part of their gold reserves to tackle debt problems have sent gold to their lowest levels in over two years, with prices falling $140 on Monday alone.