Canada Dollar Reaches 11-Year Low as China Economic Growth Slows

  • Crude oil, biggest export, trading at half year-ago price
  • Loonie follows commodity currencies around the world lower

The Canadian dollar fell to an 11-year low after signs of slowing growth in China added to speculation there will be no quick recovery from the collapse in commodity prices that already led the economy to contract during the first half of the year.

The currency followed the decline in peers from other commodity exporters, from Brazil to Australia, after a private Chinese manufacturing gauge fell to the lowest in 6 1/2 years, underscoring challenges facing the world’s second largest economy. China is the second biggest importer of Canadian goods after the U.S.

Crude oil, Canada’s largest export, fell for the second day to about $45 per barrel in New York, half the value from a year ago.

"Low oil prices are one thing, low oil prices for an extended period are another," Shaun Osborne, chief foreign exchange strategist at Bank of Nova Scotia, by phone from Toronto. "The longer this goes the more it weighs on the Canadian economic outlook."

The Canadian dollar, called the loonie for the picture of the aquatic bird on the C$1 coin, fell as much as 0.6 percent to C$1.3357 per U.S. dollar, its lowest level since June 29, 2004. It traded at C$1.3330 per U.S. dollar at 12:44 p.m. in Toronto. One loonie buys 75 U.S. cents.

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