Canadian dollar advances, greenback weakens on Fed rate expectations

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar registered a solid gain late morning Wednesday as commodity prices advanced.

The loonie rose 0.18 of a cent to 91.84 cents U.S. amid general U.S. dollar weakness.

Analysts point to low expectations for first quarter U.S. gross domestic product growth, owing to the severe winter weather and suggestions the economy may have contracted during the January-March period.

"Accordingly the expectations for Fed interest rate hikes have been pared back slightly," said Camilla Sutton, Chief FX Strategist, Managing Director Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets.

On the commodity markets, June crude in New York gained 67 cents to US$102.37 a barrel.

July copper gained three cents to US$3.16 a pound while June bullion rose $10 to US$1,304.80 an ounce.

Statistics Canada releases the March report on manufacturing shipments on Thursday.

Traders will also look to the release of April existing home sales data Thursday morning.