Canadian dollar tops 77 cents US

The Canadian dollar rose above 77 cents on Wednesday, a day after U.S. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen brought the U.S. currency back down to Earth with her comments on the American economy.

Loonie hits highest value of the year above 77 cents US

The Canadian dollar on Wednesday rose to its highest level of the year — above 77 cents US. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

The Canadian dollar rose above 77 cents US on Wednesday, a day after U.S. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen brought the U.S. currency back down to Earth with her comments on the American economy.

The loonie, as it's known, closed at 77.17 cents US, up by .68 of a cent. Earlier in the day the loonie was at 77.44 cents US, its highest level since October.

The loonie's gain comes despite a slightly down day for oil, which lost three cents to trade at $38.25 US a barrel.

U.S. dollar sliding on Fed comments

The loonie has been gaining ground for more than 24 hours since Yellen reiterated Tuesday afternoon that America's central bank will only ratchet interest rates higher gradually

"Just when the greenback was getting a renewed lift from Fed officials talking up an April rate hike, along comes the chair to put it and them in their place," BMO economist Sal Guatieri said.

The greenback was slipping against both the euro and the yen as well as the Canadian dollar.

After bottoming out at a new 13-year low near 68 cents US earlier this year, the Canadian dollar has quietly staged a mini-rally and is now the best performing major currency in the world since January.

After the strong 2015 the U.S. dollar had, some watchers now think the loonie has room to grow, at least in the short term.

"We are concerned that the window is closing on the potential for the [U.S. dollar] to rebound further," Scotiabank's chief foreign exchange strategist Shaun Osborne said in a note to clients Wednesday.

"The U.S. dollar may well have peaked at 1.3295 [Cdn] last week," Osborne said, referring to the amount of Canadian dollars that can be bought with a U.S. one. 

Flipped around, that suggests Osborne thinks the Canadian dollar may not go lower than just over 75 cents US again for a while.


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