CANADA FX DEBT-Falling oil, economic data hit C$

Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:41am EST
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* C$ drops as price of oil retreats to around $41 a barrel

* Big drop in Nov retail sales pressures market

* BoC forecast of deep, short recession has little impact

(Adds details, quote)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Jan 22 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened against the U.S. currency on Thursday as the price of oil retreated and reports in both Canada and the United States deepened the economic gloom.

At 10:55 a.m. (1555 GMT), the currency was at C$1.2620 to the U.S. dollar, or 79.24 U.S. cents, down from C$1.2558 to the U.S. dollar, or 79.63 U.S. cents, on Wednesday.

The currency was pressured by a string of economic data released on Thursday, notably worse-than-expected Canadian retail sales data in November [ID:nN22], said David Watt, senior currency strategist RBC Capital Markets.

In the United States, figures showed that weekly jobless claims rose more than expected, while housing starts and permits fell to a record low in December. [ID:nN22528164]   Continued...