Canadian dollar halts slide, Greece concerns weigh

Wed Mar 7, 2012 8:50am EST
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By Jon Cook

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against the U.S. currency on Wednesday morning as markets braced for the outcome of the Greek debt restructuring deal, and evidence mounted of a weaker outlook for the global economy.

Greek private creditors have until late Thursday to say whether they will take part in a bond swap deal which would enable Greece to make a debt repayment on March 20, sparking concerns about a chaotic default if participation is low.

Global economic concerns have intensified this week after a slowdown in growth outlook from China and Brazil and fears that Europe is headed towards another recession.

"The market got thrown a little curve ball with the downgrade in Chinese growth," said Shane Enright, executive director of foreign exchange sales at CIBC World Markets. "That's been primarily what's been responsible for most of the weakness in the commodities currencies."

At 8:22 a.m., the Canadian dollar stood at C$1.0012 against the U.S. dollar, or 99.88 U.S. cents, little changed from Tuesday's North American session close at C$1.0006 against the U.S. dollar, or 99.94 U.S. cents.

The Canadian dollar has lost more than a cent against the greenback this month, tumbling 1.2 percent from its February close at C$0.9895 against the U.S. dollar, a five-month high.

Apart from Greece, currency traders were looking ahead to Chinese inflation and U.S. jobs data on Friday.

"In that respect, you've got important news from all three of the major regions over the next 24 hours," said Enright.   Continued...