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Canadian dollar slips, North American stock markets advance slightly

TORONTO — The Canadian dollar was trading below 77 cents U.S. just ahead of the Bank of Canada's latest update.

The loonie was down 0.32 of a cent at 76.71 cents US a few minutes after North American stock markets opened and shortly before Canada's central bank was to release its latest interest rate decision and a report on the economy.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX index was up 5.94 points at 2,036.71.

The Dow Jones average of 30 stocks was up 36.81 points at 17,253.92 shortly after Canadian and U.S. markets opened, the broader S&P 500 index advanced 3.66 points to 2,034.43 and the Nasdaq index gained 10.08 points to 4,891.05.

On the commodity markets, the December gold contract fell $5 to US$1,172.50 an ounce, the November crude contract was down 82 cents at US$45.47 a barrel and the November natural gas contract was down seven cents at US$2.40.

The Canadian Press

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