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March 1 (Bloomberg) -- The Canadian dollar fell to its lowest level in eight months against its U.S. counterpart before of a report expected to show the economy contracted in December.

The currency fell against the majority of its most traded peers before a release expected to show gross domestic product fell 0.2 percent in the last month of last year, leaving fourth quarter growth unchanged from the quarter before at 0.6 percent, according to two Bloomberg surveys of economists. Crude oil, the nation’s largest export, fell to its lowest price this year.

“Just a lot of negative sentiment to the Canadian dollar right now, and just risk assets in general,” said Blake Jespersen, managing director of foreign exchange at Bank of Montreal, by phone from Toronto. If the GDP numbers miss expectations “this trend will continue and you’ll probably see Canadian dollar below C$1.0350 against the U.S.”

The loonie, as the Canadian dollar is known for the image of the water fowl on the C$1 coin, fell 0.1 percent to C$1.0317 per U.S. dollar at 7:41 a.m. in Toronto. Earlier it touched C$1.0330 per U.S. dollar, it’s weakest since June 29. One loonie buys 96.93 U.S. cents.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ari Altstedter in Toronto at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dave Liedtka at

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