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Loonie closes above parity with American greenback for first time since May 2008

TORONTO -- The Canadian dollar has closed the day's trading above parity with the U.S. dollar for the first time since May 2008, finishing up more than a quarter cent to 100.08 cents US.

Loonie vs. dollar
Canadian dollar coins, also known as "loonies," are posed with U.S dollar bills. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)

TORONTO -- The Canadian dollar has closed the day's trading above parity with the U.S. dollar for the first time since May 2008, finishing up more than a quarter cent to 100.08 cents US.

The loonie has been supported by the relative strength of the Canadian economy, rising commodity prices and confidence that Canada has not taken on more debt than it can handle -- worries that persist for the United States and many European nations.

Those worries have driven down the value of the greenback and euro and made the loonie look more attractive to global investors.

The U.S. dollar has also been driven downward in recent weeks by rising oil prices and continued economic instability south of the border.

Further supporting optimism for commodity prices, China is expected to report strong and rapid first-quarter economic growth -- possibly as high as 12 per cent -- on Thursday.

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Economists don't expect the loonie to rise quickly to the heights it reached around US$1.10 back in November 2007, but rather feel it will waver around parity for a while.

A high loonie is a boon to cross-border shoppers but a curse for many manufacturers and exporters as the price for their goods becomes less attractive to international buyers, especially in the U.S., Canada's biggest market.

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