By Commodity News Service Canada
Winnipeg, Dec 11 – The Canadian dollar was down sharply relative to the US dollar on Thursday, falling below the 97 cents US mark and hitting a nearly five-year low.
At 11:40 CST Thursday, the Canadian dollar was trading at US$0.8669 or US$1=C$1.1535, which compares with Wednesday’s North American close of US$0.8711 or US$1=C$1.1480.
Weakness in gold prices helped to weigh on the Canadian currency. Wednesday’s US$3 per barrel drop in crude oil was also bearish, though prices were seeing a slight recovery on Thursday.
Concerns that a nearly 40 per cent drop in oil values since the summer will weigh on Canadian economic growth also undermined the loonie, analysts said.
Better than expected retail sales in the US were also bearish, as it reinforces ideas that the US will raise interest rates before Canada does. US retail sales were up 0.7 per cent in November, beating expectations of a 0.4 per cent gain.
The Toronto Stock Exchange was up 176.52 points, or 1.27%, at 11:40 CST Thursday, to sit at 14,029.47.