By Malcolm Morrison TORONTO _ The Canadian dollar advanced Wednesday as the loonie continued to recover from its recent, 4 1/2-years lows at the end of January. The loonie rose 0.1 of a cent to 90.34 cents US on Wednesday morning, up for a fifth day. Analysts point to data out at the end of last week showing the Canadian economy grew for a fifth straight month during November, up 0.2 per cent. Also, Scotiabank noted that the markets are now pricing in just a 16 per cent probability of an interest rate cut over the next 12 months, well off a 38 per cent probability on January 10 . The loonie has also ridden a wave of optimism after a report from the U.S. State Department last week raised expectations that the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport oilsands crude from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico region, will be approved. Such a move would raise oil exports and life the Canadian economy. On top of that, the International Monetary Fund expects the Canadian economy will grow 2.2 per cent this year, which is up from an estimated 1.7 per cent in 2013 as the U.S. continues to import rising volumes of oil from Canada . The focus now is on the January employment report, which comes out on Friday. Expectations call for the economy to have created about 15,000 jobs after the economy shed 44,000 jobs during the previous month. Meanwhile, in the U.S., payroll firm ADP reported that the private sector created 175,000 jobs during January, about 15,000 short of what was expected. The data came out two days before the release of the U.S. government's employment report and economists have been expecting that it would show that about 190,000 jobs were created. Markets had largely dismissed the meagre December print of 74,000 jobs as weather related. Data out Wednesday showed a softening in the Canadian housing sector. Statistics Canada says the value of building permits issued by municipalities declined 4.1 per cent to $6.5 billion in December, following a 6.6 per cent decrease in November. The agency says the value of building permits for 2013 as a whole edged down 0.1 per cent from 2012 to $80.8 billion . On the commodity markets, March crude in New York gained 72 cents to US$97.91 a barrel. March copper gained one cent to US$3.21 a pound while April bullion futures gained $17.70 to US$1,268.90 an ounce.
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