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The Royal Canadian Mint’s 2012 lucky loonie coin.

JEFF McINTOSH/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Canadian dollar closed higher Thursday as the American currency softened somewhat against other major currencies after steadily gaining strength in recent weeks.

The commodity-sensitive loonie ended ahead 0.07 of a cent at at 89.58 cents (U.S.) as oil and metal prices broke through important levels. Prices have been pressured by a rising U.S. currency and worries about a faltering global economy. The November crude oil contract in New York was up 28 cents to $91.01 a barrel after earlier breaking through the $90 level for the first time since April, 2013, tumbling as low as $88.18. New York Mercantile Exchange crude is down around 9 per cent year to date.

The December copper contract closed down 4 cents to a six-month low $3 a pound.

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The loonie had gained just over one-fifth of a cent on Wednesday after the greenback weakened amid a weaker-than-expected reading on U.S. manufacturing during September.

Prior to that, the Canadian currency had a dreadful September, losing over 2.5 cents as the U.S. dollar strengthened amid growing speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve could move to raise interest rates next year sooner than expected.

Meanwhile, there was positive weekly U.S. jobs data a day ahead of the release of the U.S. government's monthly employment report for September.

The Labour Department says the number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped 8,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 287,000, as the total number of Americans collecting benefits dropped to its lowest level in more than eight years.

Economists expect the U.S. jobs report Friday to show the economy created about 215,000 jobs during September.

Canadian jobs data for September will be released Oct. 10.

Elsewhere on the commodity markets, December bullion dipped 40 cents to $1,215.10.

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