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Canada’s dollar traded below parity with its U.S. peer for the first time in a week amid concern the euro region’s sovereign-debt crisis may worsen after leaders said they will delay the decision to give Greece its next round of aid.

The Canadian currency, nicknamed the loonie for the image of the waterfowl on the $1 coin, fell against the majority of its 16 most-traded counterparts as a report showed housing starts were less than forecast in October. Canada’s merchandise trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in September as rising oil prices mitigated a lower export outlook.

The Canadian dollar declined 0.4 percent to 99.97 U.S. cents after falling the most in three weeks Wednesday. The loonie last weakened below parity Nov. 1 after Hurricane Sandy closed equity markets earlier that week.

– Bloomberg News