Forex News – Canadian dollar gains as crude oil prices pass $100 a barrel

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US crude oil benefitted from an increase in risk appetite today, gaining almost $3 a barrel on the day to barely pass $100 a barrel, to peak at $100.72 for the first time since November 17.

The surge in prices was set off by a strong Asian session opening following positive news from the weekend. Data showed that Black Friday sales hit record highs, rising to 6.6 percent compared to last year’s 0.3 percent sales, setting a strong start to the holiday shopping season.

Also, investors are hoping that there will be progress from Europe in tackling the debt crisis when European officials meet at the Eurogroup summit this week.

Meanwhile, unrest in the Middle East, due to sanctions on Syria stoked concerns that Middle East crude supplies may be threatened.

The Arab League imposed sanctions on Syria after the country refused to halt a crackdown on protesters. The country produced an average of 332,000 barrels of crude a day in August, according to the International Energy Agency, and a decline in inventories will affect prices.

Also the deepening winter cold weather will help support oil prices.

Commodity-linked currencies like the Canadian dollar benefitted from the rise in oil prices since Canada is a major exporter or crude oil. The Canadian dollar gained 1.6 percent against the greenback since Friday’s close. USDCAD fell to a low of 1.0303 by 14:00 GMT versus Friday’s close of 1.0467.