Canadian Dollars Turn on the Ferris Wheels

by | Sep 22, 2007 | Archives

Autumn starts tomorrow and sends me right back fifty years….I  remember.

The carnival excitement in a supermarket market lot! A chill sped by  the thrill of being with young friends…and more. 

This was 1958. I was  eleven and stood watching a Ferris Wheel spin its majesty at the grand opening  of a new Fred Meyer store. (Fred Meyer is a Northwest supermarket phenomenon  that preceded Super WalMart. Fred started in my home town of Portland.

 Though he passed long ago the stores bearing his name are still going strong.)

Those were simpler times and all my classmates were there. We exalted  in the free rides and snuck back again and again for balloons and giveaways.

I even recall that the perfume department finally threw us all out as  we came so many times for their little hand out vials.

I even remember some of the kids there with me that rode endlessly with  me on the Ferris Wheel.

This was a time when I felt rich because somehow I had come up with a Canadian dollar. Do not ask me how…but I knew that it was good.  If I  gave it to the cashier in the store she would give me back a dollar and a  nickel.

That was a time when a nickel was worth more than the commodities it contained. I could buy an extra candy bar, comic book or maybe even a  balsa rubber band propelled airplane for that nickel. 

Those were the good old days. Then shortly after, the Canadians began suffering as their currency weakened and made everything from the US expensive.  Our wonderful friends from the north have been suffering  since.

In fact over the years 1958 to 1986 the Loonie fell all the way to 63  US cents per Canadian dollar. 

Then the Ferris Wheel began to turn.  Today for the first time that  most people remember (except us Early Boomers), the Canadian dollar reached equally parity with the greenback again.

Much has changed since 1958. That particular Fred Meyers store shut  long ago. Although this is where I grew up, the area turned so rough that  the store simply closed.  The American buck’s dominance has gone.   

A reader sent me an article by Tavia Grant in yesterday’s Toronto Globe  & Mail entitled, “Strong currency, proud currency.” That article said:

“The Canadian dollar has broken through parity for the first time since  Nov.  25, 1976.

“Strong currency, proud currency,” said Steven Butler, director of foreign-exchange trading at Scotia Capital Inc., who said he’s seen a  slew of buyers from corporations to speculators, today. “All the  fundamentals point to Canada right now.”

“Currency traders cheered with the first official trade at parity at  10:58  a.m. EDT, but the loonie’s astonishing appreciation carries mixed  blessings.

It’s a lot more affordable nowadays to travel abroad and to buy some imported goods, such as clothing. On the flip side, exporters are left scrambling to cope with the sheer speed of the rise.

“The currency’s 60-per-cent surge over the past five years ‘represents  its most rapid climb on record,’ said Jeff Rubin, chief economist for CIBC  World Markets.”

The reader commented, “Funny you should mention that you paid $1.05 US  for a Loonie when you were a kid. That’s the exact exchange rate that  currency experts are predicting by year’s end.”

This is one more sign of US dollar weakness.

Jyske Bank as mentioned in yesterday’s message is currently bullish on  the greenback in its September 19 Strategic outlook. The bank however is watching to see a decisive breach of the level around 133 of the euro  dollar rate before being more positive.  

The dollar is trading in the range of 133-142. If it strengthens beyond  133, expect a surge. But if it drops below 142 to the euro, then a new  support level could be established at a much lower dollar level.

Jyske is also positive on the dollar versus other dollars and said in  that Sept. 19 outlook:  “Hence we also still expect high-yielding currencies  such as AUD and NZD to weaken against the dollar. CAD has not followed suit yet with the two other currencies, but it is, however, expected that an American economy with slower growth will pose big problems for CAD.”

So we still have two views as is always the case in the  markets…otherwise there is no market.

To me the Loonie is on the seat in the Ferris Wheel that is rising so I  end saying to our many friends up north,  “Congratulations. I hope this  means we’ll get to see you more. Hey buddy gotta nickel?” 

It is worth something now.

Until next message, good global investing.


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