CANADA FX DEBT-C$ sinks to near 3-week low as Ireland fears grow

Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:03pm EST
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* C$ hits session low of 97.51 U.S. cents

* Sinks along with commodity, equity prices

* Canadian bond prices higher across curve (Updates to close, adds details, commentary)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Canada's dollar shed more than a cent against the greenback on Tuesday, hitting its lowest level in nearly three weeks, as commodity prices and equity markets slumped on fears Europe's debt crisis is worsening.

The currency CAD=D4 fell as low as C$1.0255 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.51 U.S. cents, its weakest level since Oct. 28.

The greenback also trounced the euro, which fell to a seven-week low amid anxiety about a deepening debt crisis in the euro zone -- the latest casualty being Ireland. Investors fear Europe's woes could hit global growth, which would hurt commodity demand and corporate profits.

"Fiscal issues in PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain) countries are not new but perhaps they were not on the front burner because it was all about QE2 the last two months," said Sebastien Lavoie, economist at Laurentian Bank of Canada, in Montreal.

"Everything we had though thought would have happened with QE2 is not," he said, referring to the U.S. dollar gaining against the euro and U.S. bond yields spiking after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced its second round of quantitative easing earlier this month.   Continued...