Canadian dollar gets whacked after Saudi Arabia reportedly starts dumping the country's assets 'no matter the cost'

  • The Canadian dollar slid Wednesday after the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia had begun selling off its holdings of the country’s bonds, stocks, and cash.
  • The divestment came after Canada’s foreign ministry condemned the kingdom’s arrest of a prominent women’s rights activist.
  • Saudi Arabia’s national airline suspended flights to and from Toronto on Tuesday.
  • Watch the Canadian dollar trade in real-time here.

The Canadian dollar fell on Wednesday after the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabian officials instructed the kingdom’s asset managers to dump their holdings of the country’s assets.

According to the FT’s Simeon Kerr, Saudi Arabia ordered the divestments “no matter the cost” after Canada criticised its arrest of Samar Badawi, a women’s rights activist. Saudi central bank and state pension funds told their overseas asset managers to unload Canadian bonds, stocks, and cash holdings “no matter the cost,” the report said. The selling began on Tuesday, it said.

The Canadian dollar was down by 0.2% against the US dollar to 1.3096 at 8:59 a.m. ET. It slid to its lowest level in two weeks.

Canada’s foreign ministry tweetedFriday that it was “gravely concerned” about the arrests of women’s rights activists. Then on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia’s national airline Saudia suspended flights to and from Toronto in the feud over the arrest of several prominent human-rights activists.

“The Kingdom views the Canadian position as an affront to the Kingdom that requires a sharp response to prevent any party from attempting to meddle with Saudi sovereignty,” the Saudi foreign ministry said in a statement.

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