Loonie higher amid falling commodity prices

Canadian dollar coins, or loonies, are shown with U.S dollars Tuesday, April 6, 2010, in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was higher early Thursday even as prices for oils and metals weakened for another day amid concerns about the European debt crisis.

The loonie moved up 0.04 of a cent to 101.72 cents US.

Oil prices were lower with the May crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange off 19 cents at US$103.93 a barrel.

Gold bullion prices dipped $12.10 to US$1,654.40 an ounce.

Copper prices headed higher, up four cents to US$3.74 a pound.

In Europe, the rebound of earlier this week ground to a halt amid further evidence of a sharp slowdown in the economy of the 17 countries that use the euro.

Adding to the gloom was a new European Commission survey showing that economic sentiment in the eurozone was down more than expected in April. The survey's main indicator fell from 94.5 to 92.8, worse than the consensus expectation of a far more modest decline to 94.

In recent weeks, there has been an increasing backlash against the austerity drive in many European countries amid worries that governments will be unable to deliver their debt-reduction plans as economies tank.