Canadian dollar hits 14-month high, helped by oil, equity rise

Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:49pm EDT
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By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar zoomed to its highest level in just over 14 months on Wednesday as upbeat U.S. corporate results boosted investor optimism about a global recovery, whetting appetite for riskier assets.

Reports this week from JPMorgan Chase & Co and Intel Corp contributed to a broad-based downturn in the U.S. dollar, as investors bought assets and currencies viewed as more geared to global economic growth.

Investor sentiment was also boosted by U.S. retail sales data on Wednesday, which helped to propel North American stock indexes higher. The Dow Jones industrials broke through the 10,000-mark for the first time in a year.

As well, the price of oil, a key Canadian export, hit a record high for the year above $75 a barrel.

"The move higher was supported by oil prices and continued risk appetite," said Matthew Strauss, senior currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

The Canadian currency shot to C$1.0251 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.55 U.S. cents, its loftiest level since August 1, 2008.

The Canadian unit finished at C$1.0259 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.48 U.S. cents, up from C$1.0365 to the U.S. dollar, or 96.48 U.S. cents, at Tuesday's close.

All eyes will be on movements in the U.S. currency as investors await a string of U.S. data on Thursday including U.S. inflation numbers and weekly jobless claims, said Strauss.   Continued...

<p>Canadian loonies, one dollar coins, are displayed in this posed photograph in Toronto, October 10, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>