As our Canadian dollar is once again closes to hit parity with US currency, Globe and Mail looks more closely at the people who are driving up the loonie: Foreign investors who like our manageable debts, solid banks and robust housing market:
Lucky Loonie: The Canadian dollar has raced toward parity with the US dollars and shows no sign it will stop there. Trading at 98 cents (US) on Friday (March 12), it has gained 25 per cent in the past 12 months. Why? Expectations of higher interest rates, demand for oil and a robust economy, to name just three reasons.
Safe as Houses: Canada avoided the US real estate crash. And with houses that are rising steadily in value (about 19 per cent in 2009), confident Canadian consumers have kept the economy steady by spending on big-ticket items like appliances, renovations and cars.
Boring Banks: Canada's stable and tightly regulated financial sector has become the envy of much of the world, which has spent billions of tax payer dollars propping up shaking lenders that brought the global economy to its knees with Wild West risk-taking.
Rocks and Trees (and especially Oil): Raw material is in demand around the world as the recovery takes hold. For all the negative press the oil sands receives, Canadian crude remains the biggest supply of US energy. And for investors, the TSX has the world's largest concentrations of miners.
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