CANADA FX DEBT-C$ touches below US$ parity on dovish-sounding BoC

Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:03pm EST
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* C$ ends at C$0.9990 vs US$, or $1.0010

* C$ at weakest level since Nov. 19

* Central bank cuts growth view, rate hike "less imminent"

* Reuters primary-dealer poll signals next hike in Q1 2014

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, Jan 23 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar skidded below parity with the U.S. dollar briefly on Wednesday and underperformed other major currencies after the Bank of Canada held interest rates steady and said a rate increase was "less imminent".

The currency's tumble to a two-month low came after the central bank sharply lowered its expectations for economic growth and said the Canadian economy likely grew by an annualized 1 percent in the fourth quarter, down from its forecast for 2.5 percent growth.

At a press conference following the rate decision, Governor Mark Carney said the direction of the next rate move was clear, but that "the timing has shifted".   Continued...