Canadian dollar reaches 30-year high against greenback


By the Associated Press
via Yahoo News
Friday, July 6, 2007;_ylt=Agw5VHbX8F3k...

NEW YORK -- The Canadian dollar climbed to a 30-year high against the U.S. currency Friday, bolstered by higher oil prices, a strong economy, and a looming interest rate hike.

Canada's currency advanced as high as 95.53 U.S. cents Friday, pushing past the 95 U.S. cents mark for the first time since May 1977. It has risen 10.8 percent so far this year.

One of the strongest performers in currency markets Friday, the Canadian dollar rose after Statistics Canada reported that the economy created 35,000 jobs in June, about double what economists expected.

The job spurt left unemployment levels at a three-decade low of 6.1 percent for the fifth consecutive month.

The Canadian dollar later retreated to 95.27 U.S. cents.

The Bank of Canada is scheduled make its next interest rate decision Tuesday. Economists believe the latest signs of a booming economy and inflationary pressures will prompt the central bank to increase rates for the first time in more than a year.

In other trading, the dollar weakened after an early rally following a report showing better-than-expected job growth in the United States.

The U.S. Labor Department reported that employers boosted payrolls by 132,000 jobs in June, enough to keep the unemployment rate at a relatively low 4.5 percent.

The 13-nation euro bought $1.3621 in late New York trading, up from $1.3598 late Thursday. The pound, which has been hovering at 26-year highs against the dollar, declined to $2.0106 from $2.0123.

The Bank of England on Thursday lifted its key interest rate to 5.75 percent, the fifth such move this year and a widely expected decision, in an attempt to curb inflation. Also Thursday, the European Central Bank left its key interest rate unchanged at 4 percent.

The Federal Reserve has left its key rate unchanged at 5.25 percent for the past year.

Higher interest rates, a weapon against inflation, can bolster a currency by giving better returns on fixed-income investments.

The dollar climbed Friday against Japan's currency, rising to 123.40 yen from 122.88 yen late Thursday. It bought 1.2181 Swiss francs, up from 1.2169.

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