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Canadian dollar lower amid strong U.S. durable goods data, geopolitical concerns

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TORONTO - The Canadian dollar closed lower Friday while the greenback strengthened amid geopolitical concerns and data showing a rebound in U.S. durable goods orders.

The loonie fell 0.6 of a cent to 92.47 cents US as orders in the U.S. for durable goods, such as machinery, computers and related products and commercial aircraft, increased by 0.7 per cent during June. Orders had dropped one per cent in May.

The American currency also strengthened as geopolitical concerns continued to cast a shadow.

On Friday, European Union ambassadors reached a preliminary deal on stepped-up sanctions against Russia, targeting its access to European capital markets and trade in the defence sector, dual-use goods and sensitive technologies.

The ambassadors also ordered EU-wide asset freezes and travel bans for an undisclosed number of Russians and pro-Russian Ukrainians who are accused of undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty.

And U.S. officials accused Russia of firing artillery over the border into Ukraine.

U.S. bond yields also fell, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury down to around 2.48 per cent late Friday afternoon from 2.5 per cent on Thursday.

It is a very heavy week coming up for potentially market moving U.S. economic data with the latest reading on consumer confidence on Tuesday, U.S. second-quarter gross domestic product and an interest rate decision by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, while the week ends with the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing reading and the government's employment report for July.

In Canada, the major report is the May reading on gross domestic product coming out on Thursday.

On the commodity markets, September crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange edged up two cents to US$102.09 a barrel.

August gold gained $12.50 to US$1,303.30 an ounce, while September copper was down three cents at US$3.24 a pound.

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