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Markets

Canadian dollar advances for eighth straight week

  • Investors have worried that the heating up of the U.S. economy could raise the outlook for inflation, prompting the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy.
Published May 22, 2021

TORONTO: The Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Friday as encouraging U.S. factory data boosted the greenback, with the loonie adding to a streak of weekly gains and staying in reach of a 6-year high.

The loonie was trading nearly unchanged at 1.2055 to the greenback, or 82.95 U.S. cents, having traded in a range of 1.2027 to 1.2094. For the week, it was up 0.4pc, the eighth consecutive week it has advanced, which is the longest streak since 2016.

On Tuesday, the loonie touched its strongest level since May 2015 at 1.2013, bolstered by the recent surge in prices for some of the commodities that Canada produces on prospects for global economic recovery.

The reaction of markets, including bonds and copper, to the U.S. data "came to the rescue for USDCAD," said Erik Bregar, head of FX strategy at Exchange Bank of Canada.

Copper fell 1.5pc and the U.S. dollar gained ground against a basket of major currencies after data showed U.S. factory activity gathering speed in early May.

Investors have worried that the heating up of the U.S. economy could raise the outlook for inflation, prompting the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy.

Canadian retail sales plunged by 5.1pc in April, Statistics Canada said in a preliminary estimate, a fall that analysts said coincided with provincial efforts to fight a third wave of COVID-19.

Statscan also said March retail trade rose by 3.6pc from February, surpassing estimates for a 2.3pc increase.

The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, settled 2.7pc higher at $63.58 a barrel as a storm formed in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening production.

Canadian government bond yields were mixed across the curve in a shortened session ahead of Monday's Victoria Day holiday.

The 10-year was nearly unchanged at 1.543pc.

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