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Canadian Dollar Slides After CPI

The Canadian dollar weakened against its most major counterparts on Friday's European session after a report showed that the nation's annual inflation rose less than expected for February.

Canadian consumer prices crept higher in February, although at a slower pace than predicted by economists, as food and energy costs continued to rise.

Statistics Canada's consumer price index rose 2.6 percent in the 12 months to February after increasing 2.5 percent in January, the agency said Friday. Economists expected consumer prices to rise 2.7 percent.

The Canadian dollar fell to more than a 2-week low of 1.0031 against the greenback with 1.005 seen as the next downside target level. At yesterday's close, the pair was worth 0.9997.

Against the yen, the loonie hit a fresh 2-week low of 82.21, compared to Thursday's close of 82.60. If the loonie slides further, it may target 81.00 level.

The loonie that finished Thursday's deals at 1.3198 against the euro reached more than a 3-week low of 1.3280. On the downside, the loonie may target 1.34 level.

In economic news, confidence among France's businesses improved markedly in March with their production outlook improving significantly, a survey by the statistical office Insee showed today.

The headline synthetic index rose to 96 in March from a February's revised reading of 93. Economists expected an increase to 93 from February's original reading of 92.

The U.S. new home sales for February is slated for release in the New York session.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will deliver brief opening remarks at the Fed Conference on Central Banking "Before, During, and After the Crisis" at 1:45 pm ET.

by RTT Staff Writer

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