Cana­dian dol­lar, oil con­tinue to slide

North Amer­i­can stock mar­kets flat

Cape Breton Post - - CANADA/BUSINESS -

The loonie fell for a third con­sec­u­tive day while the price of oil con­tin­ued its slide, as un­cer­tainty around U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump kept North Amer­i­can stock mar­kets rel­a­tively flat Tues­day.

The Cana­dian dol­lar shed 0.46 of a U.S. cent to 75.95 cents US. It has lost 0.85 of a U.S. cent over the past three trad­ing days.

Most strate­gists on the currency side have been sur­prised with the loonie’s strength, said Scott Vali, vice pres­i­dent of eq­ui­ties and a port­fo­lio man­ager at CIBC Global As­set Man­age­ment.

Last week, the Cana­dian dol­lar was trad­ing at its high­est lev­els in nearly five months.

The com­mod­ity-sen­si­tive loonie had been boosted by the price of oil, he said, rather than weak­en­ing on the strength of the green­back as some an­a­lysts have ex­pected.

But the re­cent drop in oil prices has sent the loonie fall­ing as well, said Vali.

The March crude con­tract was down 84 cents at US$52.17 per bar­rel, for a week’s loss of US$1.66 so far.

It’s “a bit of a sea­sonal pause,’’ says Vali, as oil prices typ­i­cally ex­pe­ri­ence a weaker pe­riod from Fe­bru­ary through to March.

Dur­ing that time, de­mand for re­fined prod­uct is weaker and re­fin­ers typ­i­cally shut down for an­nual main­te­nance, he said.

But as de­mand picks up between April and June, Vali ex­pects prices will as well.

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