Loonie higher while Canada's trade deficit spikes to $2 billion in November

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TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was higher early Friday after new data showed that the country's trade deficit with the world jumped in November.

The loonie rose 0.12 of a cent to 101.69 cents US before stock markets opened.

In the morning, a report from Statistics Canada said the country's trade deficit with the world ballooned to $2 billion in November from $552 million in October as merchandise imports rose 2.7 per cent and exports fell 0.9 per cent.

"It looks like trade will take another bite out of already weak economic growth," said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in a note.

"Total exports are now 6.3 per cent below year-ago levels, the worst performance in three years, while imports are flat."

Commodities were weaker, with February crude down 47 cents to $93.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gold prices backtracked with the February contract down $4 to US$1,674 an ounce.

Organizations: Statistics Canada, BMO Capital Markets, New York Mercantile Exchange

Geographic location: Canada, TORONTO, US

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