09/21/2011 09:06 EDT | Updated 11/21/2011 05:12 EST

Loonie lower amid rising inflation, high expectations for Federal Reserve

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar has closed below parity for the first time since the end of January.

The loonie fell 1.23 cents to 99.41 cents US today.

The dip came as U.S Federal Reserve's latest effort to boost a weak economy strengthened the U.S. dollar against a variety of other currencies.

The central bank will sell US$400 billion of its shorter-term securities to buy longer-term holdings.

The move could ultimately reduce rates on mortgages and other consumer and business loans.