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Loonie hits 6-week low as oil prices slide

* Canadian dollar falls 0.3% against the greenback * Canada’s July PMI rises to 50.2 * U.S. oil prices decrease by 2.9% * Bond prices move lower across the yield curve By Levent Uslu TORONTO, Aug 1 (Reuters) – The Canadian dollar weakened to a six-week low against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday as oil prices fell and after hawkish comments by the Federal Reserve the previous day boosted the greenback. The U.S. dollar gained against a basket of major currencies as investors decided a lengthy U.S. easing cycle was unlikely after the Fed cut interest rates on Wednesday for the first time in more than a decade. The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, declined on Thursday for the first time in six days, after the Fed was less dovish than expected and as rising U.S. output helped keep the market well supplied. U.S. crude oil futures were down 2.9% at $56.88 a barrel. At 10:23 a.m. (1423 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.2% lower at 1.3219 to the greenback, or 75.65 U.S. cents. The currency, which fell 0.8% against the U.S. dollar in July, hit its lowest intraday level since June 20 at 1.3248. The downward move for the loonie came despite data showing Canadian manufacturing activity expanded for the first time in four months in July as a measure of output rebounded from a three-and-a-half year low. The IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI) rose to a seasonally adjusted 50.2 last month from 49.2 in June. Canada’s trade data for June is due on Friday, which could help guide expectations for the Bank of Canada interest rate outlook. The Bank of Canada left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.75% this month but highlighted the risks that trade wars pose to the global economy Canadian government bond prices were higher across the yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The two-year rose 2 Canadian cents to yield 1.536% and the 10-year was up 15 Canadian cents to yield 1.461%. On Wednesday, the 2-year yield reached its highest intraday level since July 16 at 1.587%. (Reporting by Levent Uslu Editing by Alistair Bell)

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