Loonie falls against U.S. dollar ahead of Federal Reserve comments – Dominion Lending Centres Clearlease

Loonie falls against U.S. dollar ahead of Federal Reserve comments - Dominion Lending Centres Clearlease

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – (April 27, 2011) Clearlease Reports the Canadian dollar widened its loss against the U.S. dollar at midday Wednesday in advance of Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke ‘s comments on the health of the U.S. economy.

The loonie was off 0.4 of a cent at 104.68 cents US in midday trading as investors focused on the Fed announcement to see if it will change its tune from more easing to tightening.

Bernanke was expected to discuss Wednesday afternoon the outlook for growth. He was also expected to confirm that the Fed would end its $600-billion bond-buying program on schedule in June, although many expect the Fed may continue to invest proceeds from maturing bonds.

The U.S. dollar has slid on expectations that interest rates will remain at their record lows in the United States — the key Fed rate is 0 to 0.25 per cent — while European Central Bank continues to rates after a quarter-point increase earlier this month.

The U.S. saw some positive economic data with much better than expected durable goods orders. Business increased their orders for heavy machinery, computers, autos and steel in March, pushing durable goods orders up 2.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar was on weaker footing as oil prices remained elevated, but short of new highs.

West Texas Intermediate crude gained 29 cents to US$112.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices rose $4.50 to US$1,508 an ounce but copper prices fell 11 cents to $4.21 a pound.

Growing uncertainty over the May 2 Federal election — with a possibility of an NDP led minority government — weighed on markets more than a possible Conservative majority, Camilla Sutton, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank, wrote in a note.

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