Canada's dollar and bank bonds declined after Moody's Investors Service downgraded the nation's banks for the first time in more than four years, signalling that soaring household debt combined with runaway housing prices leave the lenders more vulnerable to losses.


The downgrade of the Canadian banks follows a recent run on deposits at alternative mortgage lender Home Capital Group Inc. that has sparked concern over a broader slowdown in the nation's real estate market as Canadians are taking on higher levels of household debt. The firm's struggles have taken a toll on Canada's biggest financial institutions, which have seen stocks slide on concern about contagion.

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