Loonie falls in shortened Christmas Eve session, amid another BoC departure

TORONTO – The Canadian dollar inched lower on Tuesday in a shortened session ahead of the Christmas holiday.

The loonie fell 0.07 of a cent to land at 94.17 cents US on Tuesday.

The decline comes a day after the Bank of Canada announced that deputy governor John Murray will retire in April, the second pending departure from the central bank’s upper ranks.

He will step down on April 30, a day before senior deputy governor Tiff Macklem is set to leave to become dean at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

Murray, who has been a deputy governor since in January 2008, has overseen the bank’s analysis of domestic and international economic developments.

The departures will leave two seats vacant on the six-seat governing council, which is charged with setting the Bank of Canada’s policy rates.

Also on Monday, Statistics Canada reported that the economy grew for the fourth consecutive month.

The federal agency said gross domestic product for October came in at 0.3 per cent, beating analyst expectations of 0.2 per cent and the same as September’s increase.

Ottawa also reported that it ran a deficit of $2.5 billion in October, unchanged from the same month last year. The monthly fiscal monitor says Ottawa’s revenue slipped by $100 million, while increased revenue from personal income tax and other sources was offset by lower revenue from corporate taxes and GST.

In October, the government increased program spending by $100 million, while public debt charges fell $200 million. For the fiscal year so far, the deficit stands $13.2 billion, compared with a deficit of $11.9 billion at the same time last year.