Canadian dollar falls to lowest level in 11 months

August 6th, 2008 - 11:40 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Aug 6 (IANS) The Canadian dollar fell to its lowest level against the US dollar Tuesday since September, closing at 95.98 US cents. At Friday’s close, it stood at 97.66 US cents. When the markets opened Tuesday (Monday was a long weekend holiday), it resumed its downward trend against the dollar.

The loonie - as the Canadian dollar is called - enjoyed almost parity with the greenback throughout the year. In fact, it rose as high as $1.10 last November, breaking a 35-year-old record against the US currency.

The loonie’s slide comes in the wake of falling crude and commodities prices worldwide.

Buoyed up by strong exports of natural resources and commodities, a strong loonie has kept Canada insulated from worldwide price rises. But economists now fear inflationary pressures as the loonie is predicted to slip still lower.

They forecast that it could fall as low as 92 US cents by the end of the year. The dip in the loonie will cheer the manufacturing sector in this country, particularly in Ontario, which lost thousands of manufacturing jobs as a strong Canadian dollar made them uncompetitive.

Tourism, which also took a hit as foreigners, mostly Americans, avoided Canada because of a high loonie, will also cheer the news.

But the high loonie has been a boon for millions of Canadian consumers shopping down south in the US.

As oil prices slipped further Tuesday, the Toronto Stock exchange index, which crossed the 15,000-mark recently, fell by another 254.33 points to 13,242.20.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |