Loonie edges down, North American markets fall

TORONTO -- The Canadian dollar gave up its early gains and fell moderately Monday morning as North American stock markets fell.

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The loonie was trading at 72.72 cents US, down 0.05 of a U.S. cent as the S&P/TSX composite index increased its loss to 116.41 points to 12,673.54, after dropping nearly 227 points on Friday.

The major U.S. indexes also turned negative after starting the day up slightly. The Dow Jones average of 30 stocks was down 51.51 points at 17,213.70, the broader S&P 500 index fell 7.27 points to 2,005.10 and the Nasdaq lost 23.19 points to 4,910.28.

The low price of oil was a major factor that pushed the Canadian dollar below 73 cents U.S. on Friday for the first time since mid-2004.

The January crude contract was down 17 cents at US$35.43 a barrel Monday morning. The February gold contract fell $6.80 to US$1,068.90 an ounce and the January contract for natural gas was down 12 cents at US$1.87.



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