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TSX advances, gold stocks drag, bullion retreats on Fed easing, U.S. data

TORONTO - The Toronto stock market was slightly higher late-morning Thursday, held back by gold stocks that fell alongside bullion prices following the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest move and data showing strong U.S. economic growth. The S New York indexes registered solid advances amid data showing U.S. growth coming in at an annualized rate of 3.2 per cent, slightly lower than the 4.1 per cent rate in the July-September period. But for all of 2014, analysts are more optimistic with many forecasting GDP growth of three per cent or better.

Richelieu Hardware posts higher annual profit, sales in fiscal 2013

MONTREAL - Richelieu Hardware Ltd. (TSX:RCH) says growth in its U.S. sales last year helped offset weakness in Canada, enabling it to improve its overall profit slightly. The company, which is a supplier to manufacturers and home improvement retailers, ended its financial year in November with a fourth-quarter profit of $13.3 million, up 5.1 per cent from a year earlier. The profit for the three months ended Nov. 30 amounted to 64 cents per share on a diluted basis, up from 60 cents in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012.

Historic US gold coin fetches $4.6 million at auction

Two antique American gold coins sold for more than $7.8 million when they went under the hammer in Florida, auction organizers confirmed Friday. The first gold coin ever made for the United States -- a "Brasher Doubloon" struck in 1787 by a neighbor of George Washington -- fetched $4,582,500, Heritage Auctions said. A nickel made at the Philadelphia Mint in 1913 that was once featured in an episode of the 1970s television show "Hawaii Five-O" raised $3.3 million.

Canadian dollar lower, greenback strengthens amid strong U.S. employment report

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was lower Wednesday, hitting fresh multi-year lows as the greenback strengthened in the wake of strong U.S. jobs data. The loonie was off the worst levels of the session but still down 0.25 of a cent to 92.58 cents US after falling over a cent Tuesday to its lowest close since late 2009. It went as low as 92.35 cents earlier in the morning.

Canadian dollar lower, greenback strengthens amid strong U.S. employment report

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was lower Wednesday, hitting fresh multi-year lows as the greenback strengthened in the wake of strong U.S. jobs data. The currency fell another 0.32 of a cent to 92.51 cents US after falling over a cent Tuesday to its lowest close since late 2009.

Gold slumps 28 per cent in 2013 as inflation fears dissipate and US economy improves

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The price of gold closed out its worst year since 1981 Tuesday as the U.S. economy improved, inflation remained at bay and worries about the financial system and gridlock in Washington faded. Gold slumped 28 per cent in 2013. The price peaked at $1,900 an ounce in August 2011 and has been declining more or less steadily ever since. Traders had bid the price of gold higher partly out of fear that the Federal Reserve's aggressive easy-money policies would lead to inflation and weaken the U.S. dollar. When that didn't happen, demand for gold fell.

Canadian dollar advances following sharp decline, commodities mixed

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar closed higher Monday in quiet holiday trading. The loonie clawed back some of Friday's tumble of three-quarters of a cent, rising 0.56 of a cent to 93.98 cents US. There was a dearth of Canadian economic news, but traders took in U.S. data on pending home sales for November that suggested sales are stabilizing after several months of declines.

Loonie falls following holiday closures and no economic news set for release

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was down nearly half a cent against the U.S. dollar on Friday, dipping 0.44 of a cent to 93.73 cents U.S. With no scheduled economic releases in either Canada or the United States on Friday, currency is trading on "broader market themes," Camilla Sutton, Scotiabank's chief FX strategist said in a note. The U.S. dollar has been gaining strength against the loonie in recent weeks amid expectations that the American economy will outpace Canada's in 2013 and 2014.

Nearly 50% of Canadian mobile users say their device is on hand 24/7: poll

TORONTO - If you can't bear to let your smartphone out of your sight for even a few minutes, you're not alone. According to the results of a recently released online poll, almost half of Canadian smartphone owners said they keep their device with them pretty much 24/7. About 42 per cent of the respondents in the survey, conducted by Harris-Decima for Rogers, said they keep their phone within reach for 90 to 100 per cent of the day. The average response was 70 per cent of the day, or almost 17 hours.

Stocks end little changed as Fed kicks off 2-day meeting where stimulus is discussed

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Stocks are ending little changed as investors wait to see if the Federal Reserve will decide to start dialing back its stimulus or not. The Dow Jones industrial average eased nine points, or 0.1 per cent, to close at 15,875.26 Tuesday. The Standard Recent good news on the U.S. economy could increase the likelihood that the Fed decides to pull back on its huge bond-buying program as early as this week. Frontier Communications surged 38 cents, or 8 per cent, to $4.78 after the company agreed to acquire AT
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