WRAPUP 2-Canada current account gap rises, spurs talk C$ too high

Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:30pm EST
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* Deficit up 2.9 percent from Q2 to C$18.91 billion

* Canadian dollar edges lower after data released

* Deficit on trade in services hits record high

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA, Nov 29 (Reuters) - A drop in exports helped push Canada's current account deficit close to a record high in the third quarter, a development that some analysts said adds to evidence the Canadian dollar is overvalued.

The deficit rose 2.9 percent from the second quarter to C$18.91 billion ($19.10 billion), Statistics Canada said on Thursday. Though smaller than the C$19.20 billion gap expected by analysts, it was the second largest on record after the C$19.43 billion posted for the third quarter of 2010.

BMO Capital Markets predicted the deficit would end up equaling around 4.1 percent of gross domestic product. Figures for third quarter GDP will be released on Friday.

Citing the big current account deficit and other signs the domestic economy is struggling, BMO issued a report estimating that the Canadian dollar, "the titanium of the currency world", is at least 10 percent stronger than current commodity prices dictate it should be.   Continued...