Canadian dollar slides as Cyprus stays on radar, manufacturing data underwhelms

TORONTO – The Canadian dollar moved lower Tuesday, weighed down by the debt troubles in Cyprus and underwhelming Canadian economic data.

The loonie was down 0.45 of a cent to end the day at 97.37 cents US.

Lawmakers on the Mediterranean island rejected a draft bill that would have seized part of residents’ bank deposits in order for the country to qualify for an international bailout.

European officials have said that without a bailout, the country’s main banks will collapse and the country could end up having to leave Europe’s joint currency. Banks in Cyprus will stay shut until Thursday to prevent a bank run before parliament has backed the plan to seize a percentage of bank deposits.

The uncertainty impacted confidence for eurozone oil demand, and the April crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange slipped $1.58 to settle at US$92.16 a barrel.

Gold stocks were ahead with April bullion moving up $6.70 to US$1,611.30 an ounce, while May copper fell 2.3 cents to US$3.406 a pound.

Meanwhile, Statistics Canada said manufacturing sales edged down 0.2 per cent in January to $48 billion — the fourth decline in five months — impacted by weakness in automotive as well as the petroleum and coal product industry.

Wholesale sales rose by 0.3 per cent in January to $49 billion, mainly due to higher sales in computer and communications equipment and supplies.

In volume terms, wholesale sales were up 0.5 per cent for the month.