Loonie plunges to lowest level in years

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TORONTO – The Canadian dollar plunged Wednesday to a post-recession low after the Bank of Canada cut a key interest rate and lowered its forecast for the economy.

The loonie dropped more than a full U.S. cent to as low as 77.34 cents US, a level not seen since March 2009 when Canada was in the midst of a deep recession.

The dollar made up some lost ground later but was still down 0.92 of a U.S. cent at 77.57 cents US in morning trade.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 85.32 points at 14,684.72.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 29.29 points at 18,082.87, the Nasdaq index rose 17.81 points to 5,122.70, and the S&P 500 advanced 4.09 point to 2,113.04.

On the commodity markets, the August gold contract fell $10.70 to US$1,142.80 an ounce, the August crude contract was down 62 cents at US$52.42 a barrel and the August contract for natural gas was up five cents at US$2.89.