Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Canadian dollar up on hopes for resolution to ‘fiscal cliff’

Canadian dollars.

Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Canadian dollar closed higher Thursday amid mainly lower commodity prices and hopes that the U.S. can avoid a looming "fiscal cliff."The loonie gained 0.06 of a cent to $1.009 (U.S.) as traders also looked ahead to the release Friday of the Canadian and U.S. November employment reports. In Canada, economists are looking for the economy to have created around 7,500 jobs.

The U.S. non-farm payrolls report for November also comes out with muted expectations because of Superstorm Sandy's effect on businesses and hiring. Economists look to the economy to have cranked out about 95,000 jobs last month.

The "fiscal cliff" is a combination of expiring Bush-era tax cuts and automatic, across-the-board spending cuts due to take effect in January. It results from prior failures of Congress and President Barack Obama to make a budget deal. The worry is that the combination of big spending cuts and significant tax increases could push the U.S. economy back into recession.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Obama and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner spoke Wednesday for the first time in days in a telephone discussion on the fiscal crisis.

Mr. Obama said a compromise was "not that tough" and could even be done quickly, raising the possibility that broader negotiations might soon resume between the White House and congressional leaders.

But Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner warned Wednesday after the close that the administration would "absolutely" let the tax increases and spending cuts take effect as scheduled unless Republicans give in to Mr. Obama's demand to raise tax rates at upper income levels.

Commodities were lower as the January crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange extended losses from Wednesday that resulted from data showing a sharp run-up in U.S. gasoline inventories last week. Crude lost $1.62 to $86.26 a barrel.

The March copper contract shed 4 cents to $3.66 a pound after rising 3 cents Wednesday amid growing hopes for more economic stimulus in China, which is the world's biggest consumer of the metal.

February gold bullion gained $8 to $1,701.80 an ounce.

Overseas, the European Central Bank has left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low 0.75 per cent. The bank decided against further stimulus even though the economy of the 17 European Union countries that use the euro is in recession.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨