Loonie drops half cent, stock markets slightly negative in early trade

TORONTO -- The Canadian dollar was down about half a cent Wednesday morning after North American stock markets opened lower.

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The loonie traded at 71.83 cents US, down 0.51 from Tuesday's close.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX index dipped 9.02 points to 13,236.73. On Tuesday, it fell 64.05 points.

The Dow Jones average of 30 stocks was down 38.89 points at 17,682.29, the broader S&P 500 index declined 5.14 points to 2,073.22 and the Nasdaq lost 19.47 points to 5,088.47.

The February gold contract fell $8.20 to US$1,059.80 an ounce, the February crude contract was down $1.01 at US$36.86 per barrel and the February contract for natural gas was down 14 cents at US$2.23.



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