NEWS

Canadian dollar hits new low below 79 cents

01/30/2015 01:32 EST | Updated 04/01/2015 05:59 EDT
The Canadian dollar hit a six-year low Friday after a report showing Canada’s GDP fell 0.2 per cent in November.

The loonie was trading at 78.53 US cents at 2 p.m. ET, down 0.79 of a cent from Thursday's close.

The currency had gone as low as 78.22 cents US, its lowest level since mid-March 2009, in morning trading.

Toronto stocks initially slumped, but the TSX was up 57 points at 14694 by  early afternoon.

Investors were concerned about the worsening economic picture emerging from Canada as oil prices continue to slide.

Manufacturing and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction all showed weakness in the October to November period, according to Statistics Canada.

Analysts are also predicting future woe for the Canadian economy, with JP Morgan warning the Canadian dollar will fall to 77 cents if the Bank of Canada cuts rates again, as some economists have predicted.

"There will be blood," the Wall Street firm predicted, referring to the ripple effect of low oil prices on the economy.

Oil was having a better day Friday, with the Brent crude contract in Europe trading above $50 US a barrel and West Texas Intermediate crude trading in New York at $45.77, up by $1.30.

Economic data out of the U.S. was disappointing, with fourth-quarter growth coming in at 2.6 per cent, lower than expected.

The Dow Jones industrial average is down 65 points to 17,351. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell six points to 2014 and the Nasdaq was up eight points to 4,691.

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