TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was higher Thursday amid mixed commodity prices and economic data.
The loonie was up 0.1 of a cent to 97.44 cents US.
Statistics Canada reports that Canadian industries operated at 80.7 per cent of their production capacity in the fourth quarter, down slightly from the 81.1 per cent in the third quarter. The decline was a result of lower capacity utilization in the manufacturing sector.
That in turn was largely attributable to transportation equipment manufacturing industry, where capacity utilization fell 3.5 percentage points to 88.9 per cent during the quarter. That was partly because of longer than usual seasonal shutdowns in the auto sector.
In the U.S., fewer Americans sought unemployment aid last week, reducing the average number of weekly applications last month to a five-year low.
The Labour Department says applications fell 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 332,000. That pushed the four-week average to 346,750, the lowest since March 2008, just several months after the Great Recession began.
Commodities were mixed following declines on Wednesday.
The April crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange shed 47 cents to US$92.05 a barrel.
April bullion faded $9.70 to US$1,578.70 an ounce while May copper gained a cent to US$3.54 a pound.