Loonie loses nearly a full cent after Poloz says rate cut still 'on the table'

TORONTO _ The Canadian dollar plunged almost a full cent Wednesday following the Bank of Canada governor’s comments that a cut in the interest rate “remains on the table.”

The loonie was down 0.98 of a U.S. cent to 75.60 cents US just before 1 p.m. ET.

The currency began to weaken during a news conference by Stephen Poloz, where the central bank governor said an interest rate cut was possible if the economy deteriorates amid uncertainty surrounding U.S. president-elect Donald Trump’s policies.

As expected, the rate was unchanged at 0.5 per cent, where it has remained since July 2015.

The Bank of Canada also released its monetary policy report, in which it warned there would be “material consequences” for trade if protectionist policies under Trump come into effect.

North American stock markets are were mostly flat, with the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index falling five points at 15,436.36 in early afternoon trading.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down a moderate 48.12 points to 19,778.65, while the S&P 500 dipped 0.99 of a point to 2,266.90. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite gained 0.39 of a point to 5,539.12.

In commodities, the February crude contract lost $1.16 to US$51.32 per barrel and February natural gas was down 11 cents at US$3.30 per mmBTU.

The February gold contract lost 40 cents to US$1,212.50 an ounce and March copper contracts were down a penny at US$2.62 a pound.