Loonie, oil contracts steady, equity indexes send mixed signals

TORONTO -- The Canadian dollar was holding its own early Thursday as overseas markets and U.S. index futures gave mixed signals.

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The loonie was at 69.16 of a U.S. cent, up 0.15 from Wednesday's close but still near 13-year lows, with about an hour to go before the open of North American stock markets at 9:30 a.m.

The Dow Jones index futures were down 249.28 points at 15,766.74, S&P 500 futures declined 22 to 1,859.33 points to 1,859.33 and the Nasdaq futures lost 5.26 points to 4,471.69.

Major European indexes were up slightly but the Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong markets closed lower before the North American trading day began.

On the commodity markets, the March crude contract was at US$28.06, down 29 cents, and had traded as low as $27.87 per barrel earlier. The February gold contracts were at US$1,098.30, down $7.90.

On Wednesday, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended the day down 159.13 points at 11,843.11, its lowest close since June 24, 2013, when it finished at 11,836.86.



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