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Canadian Dollar Slides On Falling Oil Prices

The Canadian dollar weakened against its major opponents in early European deals on Thursday, as oil prices dropped following a report showing increase in U.S. crude stockpiles last week.

Crude for March delivery fell $0.10 to $61.69 per barrel.

Data from the Energy Information Administration showed that U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased by 1.9 million barrels from the previous week.

Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 3.4 million barrels last week, and are in the middle of the average range.

The EIA also reported that U.S. crude production rose 332,000 barrels to 10.3 million barrels a day last week.

Investors focus on key events, including the Bank of England monetary policy decision later today. Although the BoE is expected to keep interest rates on hold, investors await the minutes as well as updated forward guidance via the Quarterly Inflation Report for more clues.

The loonie dropped to 1.2583 against the greenback, its lowest since January 11. Continuation of loonie's downtrend may see it challenging support around the 1.28 level.

The loonie edged down to 1.5437 against the euro, off its early session's high of 1.5395. The loonie is likely to challenge support around the 1.56 region.

Figures from Destatis showed that Germany's exports and imports increased unexpectedly in December.

Exports rose 0.3 percent month-on-month in December, slower than the 4.1 percent increase seen in November. However, shipments were expected to fall 1 percent.

Reversing from an early multi-week high of 0.9804 against the aussie, the loonie weakened to 0.9854. On the downside, 1.00 is possibly seen as the next support level for the loonie.

The loonie fell back to 87.04 against the yen, from its early high of 87.38. This may be compared to a 2-day low of 86.82 set in the early Asian session. If the loonie falls further, it may find support around the 85.00 mark.

Data from the Ministry of Finance showed that Japan logged a current account surplus of 797.2 billion yen in December.

That was shy of expectations for a surplus of 1,056.9 billion yen following the 1,347.3 billion yen surplus in November.

Looking ahead, European Central Bank's economic bulletin is due shortly.

At 3:45 am ET, Deutsche Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann will give a speech titled "Monetary Policy in the European Context" at the Monetary and Economic Policies at the Atlantic conference in Frankfurt.

The Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe speaks at the A50 Australian Economic Forum in Sydney at 4:00 am ET.

The Bank of England's interest rate announcement is scheduled at 7:00 am ET. Economists expect the central bank to keep interest rate at 0.50 percent and asset purchase program at GBP 435 billion.

In the New York session, Canada housing starts for January and new housing price index for December, as well as U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended February 3 are set for release.

At 12:45 pm ET, the Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins speaks about innovation and inclusive growth at the G7 Symposium in Quebec.

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