For the first time in a generation, Canada's dollar is staring eye to eye with its American counterpart after reaching parity briefly with the world's dominant currency.
Boosted by high commodity prices and a weakening greenback, the loonie rose Thursday to an intraday high of US$1.0008, a level it has not hit since November 1976 - great news for the energy and import sectors and Canadian travellers but another sombre milestone for the country's industrial heartland.
The loonie, which has been gaining on its American counterpart since bottoming out below 62 cents in early 2002, has recently been on a spectacular runup from 95 cents at the start of September and from under 90 cents last spring.
Soaring demand for Canadian commodities, ranging from oil and wheat to coal, potash, nickel and zinc - have helped propel the currency, while a weakening American economy has dragged down the greenback against the loonie, the euro and most of the world's other currencies.
At 10:58 a.m. EDT, the loonie first crossed the threshold to hit $1.0004, then eased back slightly to close at 99.87 cents US, up 1.37 cents from Wednesday.
The last time the dollar was at par with the greenback was Nov. 25, 1976, as oil prices soared three years after a Middle East war, and when Pierre Trudeau was prime minister and Rene Levesque had just become the separatist premier of Quebec. Src...