The Canadian dollar traded higher against major currencies following the release of capacity utilization rate, labor productivity and new motor vehicle sales reports in early New York deals on Tuesday. Canadian capacity utilization continued to rise in the second quarter, when industries operated at 76% of the production capacity, official data revealed today.
Statistics Canada said capacity utilization rose 1.6% compared to the first three months of year, the fourth consecutive quarterly gain after a bad slump during the worst of the global economic crisis.
Since the record low of 68.1% set in the second quarter of 2009, the industrial capacity utilization rate has risen by 7.9 percentage points, the agency noted. Economists were expecting capacity utilization of 74.8%.
The Statistics Canada also reported that Canadian new motor vehicle sales rose more than expected in July, but preliminary data suggests that sales slumped badly in August.
Strong truck sales fueled a 2.4 percent jump in new automobile sales in July, beating expectations for a rise of only 1 percent. The pace of the July’s increase slowed from June, when receipts at dealerships rose 4.2 percent. A total of 135,514 units were sold in July, up 6.9% from the same month a year ago.
The loonie advanced to a new multi-week high of 1.0249 versus the US dollar by about 8:30 am ET from yesterday’s close of 1.0274.
At 8:30 am ET, the loonie also climbed to 81.43 against the yen and 0.9585 against the Australian dollar, which may be compared to Monday’s closing values of 81.51 and 0.9618, respectively.