TORONTO - The Canadian dollar dropped to its lowest level in nearly two years on Tuesday as the U.S. dollar gained traction on confidence over the direction of bond yields and the broader U.S. economy.
The Canadian dollar ended down 0.28 of a cent at 94.80 cents US, its lowest closing price since October 2011.
The decline came amid expectations that current U.S. monetary policy will help drive U.S. bond yields higher.
Meanwhile, the latest data on U.S. factory orders showed a pick up in the manufacturing sector. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that factory orders rose 2.1 per cent last month. April's increase was revised higher to 1.3 per cent from one per cent.
Economies around the world were also facing pressure, which drove down other currencies.
Australia's central bank left interest rates unchanged and said the Australian dollar is likely to continue falling, easing pressure on the economy.
And in China, manufacturing weakened in June amid a credit crunch.
In commodities, the August crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange was ahead $1.61 at US$99.60 a barrel — the highest price it's been since May 3, 2012.
August bullion moved down $12.30 to US$1,243.40 an ounce on the Nymex. Copper prices fell 1.4 cents to $3.14.
Earlier on HuffPost:
<strong>FUN FACT: </strong>Australia was the first country in the world to have a <a href="http://www.dfat.gov.au/facts/currency.html/" target="_hplink">complete set of banknotes made from plastic</a>, which helps protect from counterfeiting and general wear.
<strong>FUN FACT: </strong>Egyptian notes are different shapes and sizes based on the denomination and include <a href="http://www.cbe.org.eg/1historical_review_for_currency.htm" target="_hplink">watermarks and metallic threads</a> for enhanced security. <em>Clarification: An original version of this slide said that Egypt had no specified currency until 1834. In fact, in 1834 the Egyptian Pound <a href="http://financial-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Egyptian+Pound">became the currency of Egypt</a>, replacing the piastre.</em>
French Polynesian Franc
<strong>FUN FACT:</strong> The colorful, floral notes of French Polynesia feature <a href="http://www.dirjournal.com/info/cool-money-collection-from-around-the-world/" target="_hplink">depictions of the land and the native people</a>.
<strong>FUN FACT: </strong>The Maldives, made up of over 1,100 islands in the Indian Ocean, exchange colorful rufiyaa as currency. Each banknote depicts a <a href="http://www.mma.gov.mv/cic.php" target="_hplink">bunch of coconuts and the traditional Dhivehi Odi</a>, a type of boat used for inter-island transport.
<strong>FUN FACT: </strong>Each brightly-hued Swiss Franc includes two stunning <a href="http://www.snb.ch/en/iabout/cash" target="_hplink">portraits of various cultural icons</a>. Security features include a "tilt effect" which allows the note's denomination to only be seen at an unusual angle.
Hong Kong Dollar
<strong>FUN FACT:</strong> Hong Kong's currency includes colorful paper and polymer notes. The notes include <a href="http://www.hkma.gov.hk/eng/key-functions/monetary-stability/notes-coins-hong-kong/notes.shtml" target="_hplink">eight security features</a>, most of which are visible to the naked eye.
South African Rand
<strong>FUN FACT:</strong> South African banknotes feature the <a href="http://www.resbank.co.za/BanknotesandCoin/Pages/BanknotesAndCoin-Home.aspx" target="_hplink">"big five" animals of the country</a>, which include the lion and elephant.
<strong>FUN FACT:</strong> The lempira note from Honduras is <a href="http://www.honduras.com/lempira/#.UCltR2Oe7DU" target="_hplink">named after a 16th century ruler</a> that led the resistance against Spanish conquistadors.
New Zealand Dollar
<strong>FUN FACT: </strong>New Zealand has also adopted the <a href="http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/currency/" target="_hplink">use of polymer notes</a> and recently redesigned all of its notes to reflect distinct cultural aspects of the country. The $10 note (pictured) includes an image of the endangered blue duck.
<strong>FUN FACT: </strong>Canada is the latest country to <a href="http://www.bankofcanada.ca/banknotes/" target="_hplink">begin issuing polymer notes</a>. Unfortunately, <a href="http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1225532--plastic-bills-quick-spend-them-before-they-melt" target="_hplink" target="_hplink">according to</a> the <em>Toronto Star</em>, the bills shrink under extreme heat.