BUSINESS

Loonie moves up ahead of Greek elections as crude oil inches higher

06/15/2012 09:02 EDT | Updated 08/15/2012 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - The Canadian dollar weakened slightly on Friday ahead of the Greek elections this weekend, which could signal the country's exit from the euro currency union.

The loonie ended the session up 0.15 of a cent at 97.83 cents US.

Concerns have been growing over the elections in Greece on Sunday and whether Athens will be forced to leave the euro currency union if the elected party doesn't support the tough austerity terms of the country's financial bailout package.

Greece's exit from the euro could have a widespread impact on other European countries.

In commodities, the July crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed 12 cents higher at US$84.03 a barrel.

The August gold contract shifted $8.50 higher to US$1,628.10 an ounce, ending the week up two per cent.

A series of Canadian data provided some insight into the domestic economy.

Statistics Canada reported that manufacturing sales fell 0.8 per cent in April to $49.1 billion, marking the third decline in four months, driven in particular by the aerospace product and parts industry and in petroleum and coal products.

The Canadian Real Estate Association reported that the number of homes sales last month fell 3.1 per cent compared with April, but remained up from a year ago. Still, the organization updated its forecast for the year to see average home prices rise by 2.2 per cent to $370,700 compared with an earlier expectation that they would fall 1.1 per cent.