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Europe Drives Loonie to Monthly Loss

The Canadian dollar fell today, heading to a monthly loss against the US dollar and a second straight monthly drop versus the Japanese yen, as the crisis in Europe eroded demand for currencies related to growth. Unsurprisingly, Canada’s currency managed to outperform the euro.

The European sovereign-debt problems is spreading and it does not look like European leaders have a solid plan to contain the crisis. Signs that the fast-growing Chinese economy is slowing also does not help commodities and currencies related to them. July futures on crude oil, the major export of Canada, were down 0.3 percent to $90.56 on NYMEX today, erasing its previous advance.

Canadian currency often gets help from the recovering economy of the nation’s neighbor — the United States. Today, though, US macroeconomic reports only hurt the loonie. The Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller House Price Index fell in March on an annual basis. On the positive side, the decline was slower than in the previous month and the index rose on a monthly basis. A really unpleasant surprise was an unexpected drop of the Conference Board consumer confidence. Analysts predicted that the sentiment index would rise from 68.7 in April to 69.8 in May, but the gauge dropped to 64.9 instead.

USD/CAD was up from 1.0236 to 1.0257 as of 17:36 GMT today, following the earlier drop to 1.0206. CAD/JPY declined from 77.58 to 77.39, erasing its previous advance to 77.85. EUR/CAD slipped from 1.2837 to 1.2802, while the daily minimum of 1.2792 was the lowest since May 15.

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