Saturday, 26 May 2007

"Loonie soars to new 30-year high"

This Vancouver Sun story is at least a bit more balanced than the one yesterday on CBC.

The Sun notes that the rate reflects more on the weakness of the US dollar

However, there's more than the weakness in the U.S. dollar behind the strength of the loonie, said Clement Gignac, chief economist at the National Bank of Canada, which is predicting the loonie will be at parity with the U.S. within 18 to 24 months.

"The strength of the Canadian dollar can no longer be laid solely to weakness of the greenback," Gignac said. "The loonie has appreciated against almost all currencies."

The loonie, for example, is at a 15-year high against the Japanese yen, reflecting the impact of the so-called carry trade, in which investors borrow low interest rate yen securities and convert them into higher-yield securities, including Canadian dollar securities.

But what I have been watching recently is the rise of the Canadian dollar against the UK pound

The chart at the top shows what was happening and a confident prediction of continued increases.

Now maybe this is more to do with Mr Brown - and I do understand that much of our trade is with the US. But I think that CBC type reporting has more to do with nationalism than economics and I would like to see a more balanced approach, perhaps against a trade weighted basket of currencies, than just this obsession with the US dollar, and our propensity to pop south for a little smuggling.

Both charts courtesy of Pacific Exchange Rate Service

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