Loonie dips to three-week low as Bank of Japan meetings weaken currencies

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TORONTO - The loonie slid to three-week lows on Monday as concern about monetary easing from the Bank of Japan negatively affected the yen and U.S. stock and bond markets remained closed for the Martin Luther King holiday.

The Canadian dollar was down 0.08 of a cent to 100.75 cents US before stock markets opened.

The Bank of Japan began a two-day policy meeting and has been under pressure from the new government to take more aggressive steps to fight the long deflationary slump in the world's third largest economy.

Some analysts expect the bank to expand its asset-purchasing program and set an inflation target.

In commodities, February bullion rose $2 to US$1,689 an ounce while copper prices were down. The February crude contract on the Nymex slid 45 cents to US$95.11 a barrel.

Meanwhile, Statistics Canada reported that wholesale sales rose 0.7 per cent in November to $49.6 billion, largely as a result of higher sales in the computer and communications equipment and supplies industry. The agency says sales were up 0.5 per cent in volume terms.

Organizations: Bank of Japan, Nymex, Statistics Canada

Geographic location: U.S., TORONTO

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