January 13, 2016 4:25 pm
Updated: January 13, 2016 7:21 pm

Canadian dollar closes below 70 cents U.S. for first time in nearly 13 years

WATCH: The loonie has been sliding since 2011, but now it has closed below 70 cents U.S., and at least one analyst is predicting the Canadian dollar could slip as low as 59 cents U.S. That would make history, and as Vassy Kapelos reports, it's creating dark clouds over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's sunny ways.

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The Canadian dollar has closed below 70 cents U.S. for the first time in nearly 13 years. The loonie settled Wednesday at 69.71 cents U.S., down 0.43 of a cent since Tuesday’s close.

The last time the Canadian dollar closed beneath the 70-cent U.S. mark was on April 30, 2003.

The currency has been sinking for some time as a result of lower oil prices and other factors and fell below 71 cents U.S. for the first time in more than a decade last Wednesday.

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With oil prices continuing to trade lower, recent forecasts have hinted the Canadian dollar is poised to trade at levels closer to — or even below — 60 cents U.S., which would break the currency’s all-time low of 61.69 cents U.S. set in January 2002.

Oil prices have declined precipitously since early fall 2014 as over-production has sent global reserves soaring, creating a glut that doesn’t appear to be going away soon.

“Oil prices remain the primary risk for the Canadian dollar, as they remain precariously low,” Rahim Madhavji, currency strategist at Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange, said.

MORE: Latest coverage — plunging loonie 

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