Oil-rich Canada’s dollar hit an 11-1/2-year trough against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as oil prices slid to seven-year lows, while the Swiss franc and yen were boosted as investors sought out safe havens.
As brent crude fell below $37 a barrel on growing fears that a global oil glut will worsen in the coming months, the Norwegian crown also fell around half a per cent, reversing all its earlier gains. Norway relies on oil and gas for more than one fifth of its gross domestic product.
With stock prices falling as investors sold their riskier assets, the Swiss franc, traditionally bought at times of risk aversion, rose 0.3 per cent to 1.0771 francs per euro, its strongest since Nov. 12. The yen rose 0.2 per cent, trading at 120.74 yen against the dollar.
“Now that we are seeing a breakthrough of Friday’s lows in the oil price and we’re seeing a sharp acceleration of the fall, the market is getting nervous,” said Commerzbank currency strategist Esther Reichelt, in Frankfurt.