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Canadian dollar makes gains as commodities rise

Canadian dollars shown with U.S dollars.

Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Canadian dollar closed higher Tuesday amid rising commodity prices.

The loonie gained 0.15 of a cent to $1.0007 (U.S.) after closing below parity with the U.S. currency Monday for the first time since early August.

Markets have been quieter than normal these past two days with major U.S. financial markets closed due to Hurricane Sandy.

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But things will start to return to some level of normalcy Wednesday when the U.S. exchanges resume trading.

"Trading will commence on the New York Stock Exchange at 9:30 a.m. EDT under normal opening procedures, and the NYSE Euronext building and trading floor are fully operational," said a statement by exchange operator NYSE Euronext.

The Nasdaq will also be open Wednesday after the superstorm left a large swath of New York City without power and subways and vehicle tunnels have been flooded.

The CME Group also cancelled floor trading in New York and Chicago but commodity trading carried on electronically and their regular operations will also resume Wednesday. Bond markets will also reopen.

December crude gained 14 cents to $85.68 a barrel. At the same time, there are questions about where crude prices are headed, given the effect on refineries from the storm. The biggest operations in the northeastern U.S. have shut down or cut back sharply and analysts said the impact on oil demand could be significant.

Metal prices advanced with December copper ahead 1 cent at $3.51 a pound while December gold bullion rose $3.40 to $1.712.10 an ounce.

The storm also played havoc with economic data.

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The U.S. Conference Board is delaying the release of its consumer confidence index for October until Thursday. The Conference Board said it decided on the delay to help assure the safety of its staff and people who follow the index. The storm has left transportation difficult or impossible in many places and millions of people were without power.

There was also doubt whether the U.S. Labour Department will release its October non-farm payrolls report on Friday.

Dozens of U.S. companies have also postponed their quarterly earnings reports.

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