07/16/2013 09:25 EDT | Updated 09/15/2013 05:12 EDT

Canadian dollar inches ahead before BoC governor Poloz's rate decision

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar climbed higher on Tuesday as traders awaited the first Bank of Canada policy decision under new governor Stephen Poloz.

The loonie ended the session up 0.45 of a cent to 96.47 cents US.

The central bank is widely expected to keep its key interest rate on hold at one per cent when it makes the announcement Wednesday morning. The near certainty means that focus will be more so on what Poloz says, rather than what he does.

It leaves "the debate centre on whether governor Poloz will shift to a neutral stance or retain the slight hawkish bias," Scotia Capital chief currency strategist Camilla Sutton said in a note.

We have been given few clues, however are biased to believe that the BoC chooses to maintain it, this would support the Canadian dollar."

Also expected Wednesday is testimony from U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke about the U.S. economy that could set the tone in markets for the rest of the summer.

In commodities, the August crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange weakened 32 cents to US$106 a barrel.

August bullion rose $6.90 to US$1,290.40 an ounce while the TSX gold sector rose 3.1 per cent. The September copper contract on the Nymex gained 4.2 cents to US$3.187 a pound.