The currency declined for a third straight day yesterday when Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the central bank has ``significant room'' to reduce interest rates further after it lowered the key rate to 3 percent, a fourth reduction since December. Retail sales fell 0.7 percent in February, according to a report released yesterday by Statistics Canada.
The Canadian currency fell 0.2 percent to C$1.0188 per U.S. dollar at 8:23 a.m. in Toronto, from C$1.0170 yesterday. One Canadian dollar buys 98.15 U.S. cents.
The loonie has declined 1.9 percent against the U.S. dollar this year as the economy in the U.S., Canada's largest trading partner, slowed. The currency surged 17 percent last year and reached parity against the U.S. dollar for the first time since 1976, after crude oil and gold soared to records. Commodities account for half of Canada's exports.
Oil reached a record of $119.90 per barrel on April 22.