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Canadian Dollar Gains on Optimism Before Housing Report

The Canadian dollar rose against the majority of its most-traded peers before a housing report may indicate the country’s real estate market is headed for a soft landing rather than a crash.

The loonie, as the currency is nicknamed, fluctuated against its U.S. counterpart before a report tomorrow projected to show housing starts slowed in December. Crude oil, Canada’s largest export, rose for a third straight day.

“I think most of the story is flows and repositioning,” said Greg Moore, a currency strategist at Toronto-Dominion Bank by phone from Toronto. “It’s been very quiet, there’s been very little data out, pretty few fundamental changes.”

The loonie was little changed against its U.S. counterpart at 98.60 cents per U.S. dollar at 8:07 a.m. in Toronto. One Canadian dollar buys $1.0142.

Construction started on 195,000 residential units in December, down from 196,100 the month before, according to the median estimate of a Bloomberg survey of 22 economists. The government tightened mortgage rules in June to slow the increase of consumer debt after the Bank of Canada cited the chance of a housing downturn as a major risk to the economy.

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