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Russia moves off U.S. dollars, euros to stockpile loonies

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Steve Chiotakis: The financial roller coaster’s done a number on anyone investing in the volatile U.S. dollar or the euro. And that’s especially true for a country such as Russia, which stockpiles a lot of those two currencies. As reporter Peter van Dyk reports from the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russia’s looking for a little more stability, and that could mean the U.S. dollar has some more competition.

Peter Van Dyk: Russia says it will start stockpiling the Canadian dollar in its foreign currency reserves. It may even take a dip Down Under for some Australian dollars too.

A key Russian banker told Bloomberg that the country was growing weary of the drops in the value of the country’s currency reserves of U.S. dollars and euros. And the Canadian and Australian economies are showing signs of economic recovery, due to their strong natural resources like oil and iron ore. So Peter Westin, chief economist at Aton Brokerage in Moscow, says Russia’s making a good move:

Peter Westin: Russia is not the only country that is doing this – there are many countries that already have the Canadian dollar and the Australian dollar in their reserves.

Right now, about half of Moscow’s foreign currency reserves are in dollars and 40 percent in euros.

Westin: The dollar and the euro can be classified as reserve currencies. You can’t really talk about the Canadian dollar or the Australian dollar as a reserve currency.

Westin doesn’t mean there’s a larger trend by global banks to move away from holding American dollars and euros.

In St. Petersburg, I’m Peter van Dyk for Marketplace.

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