02/05/2013 08:43 EST | Updated 04/07/2013 05:12 EDT

Canadian dollar advances on strong Chinese, eurozone economic data

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar closed higher Tuesday as traders took in data suggesting that the eurozone and Chinese economies are improving.

The currency gained 0.24 of a cent to 100.38 cents US after Markit, a financial information group, said its purchasing managers' index for the eurozone economy rose to a 10-month high of 48.6 in January from 47.2 in December.

Though the index remains below the 50.0 mark that would indicate expansion, the survey echoes other findings that the worst for the eurozone economy may be over.

And HSBC's Chinese purchasing managers index was firmly in expansion territory, coming in at 54 in January, up from 51.7 in December.

"Still solid job gains plus higher business expectations bode well for further improvement of services sectors' growth," said HSBC chief China economist Hongbin Qu.

"Following the growth bottoming out in (the fourth quarter of) 2012, China’s growth recovery is now on a firmer footing."

Commodity prices were mixed with the March crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange up 47 cents at US$96.64 a barrel.

April gold bullion was $2.90 lower at US$1,673.50 an ounce, while March copper was unchanged at US$3.77 a pound.