Loonie remains steady at start of week

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

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was slightly higher on Monday as traders held tight amid new data from Europe.

The loonie was up 0.12 of a cent to 99.68 cents US.

The week is relatively bare for data from Canada, which means investors will be looking elsewhere for direction.

The European Commission released a report Monday showing that economic sentiment dipped, with pessimism growing in both the industrial and service sectors. There were sharp declines in Germany, France and in Spain.

The report came out the same day that Spain's National Statistics Institute said its economy contracted for the third straight quarter.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is meeting with economic policy makers in Europe. His first stop will be on the North Sea island of Sylt where Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is vacationing. Afterwards, he will travel to Frankfurt to meet ECB President Mario Draghi.

"Although ECB president Draghi's comments late last week, stating that they will do what is required to preserve the Euro, continue to support risk sentiment, we see a high risk of disappointment with regard to any firm action at this week’s ECB meeting," said George Davis, chief technical analyst at RBC Dominion Securities Inc.

In commodities, the September crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange shifted down 33 cents to US$89.80 a barrel.

September copper moved back one cent to US$3.42 a pound while August gold gained 70 cents to US$1,6618.70 an ounce.