TORONTO: The Canadian dollar edged lower against its US counterpart on Thursday, pulling back from its strongest level in more than one week, as the US currency broadly rallied and domestic data showed a surprise decline in wholesale trade.

The US dollar rose against a basket of major currencies as news that the European Central Bank was sticking to plans to slowly unwind stimulus weighed on the euro.

The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, slipped as traders weighed a larger-than-expected build in US oil stocks against tightening global supply.

US crude prices fell 1.5% to $102.7 a barrel, while the Canadian dollar was trading 0.1% lower at 1.2580 to the US dollar, or 79.49 US cents.

The currency touched its strongest intraday level since April 6 at 1.2522, with the move coming after the Bank of Canada on Wednesday raised interest rates by half a percentage point - its biggest single move in more than two decades.

Canadian wholesale trade decreased by 0.4% in February from January. It was the first decline in seven months and missed analyst estimates of a 0.9% gain.

Separate data showed that factory sales grew by 4.2% in February from January on higher sales in motor vehicle assembly, as well as food products. Canadian government bond yields were higher across the curve, tracking the move in US Treasuries. The 10-year was up 4.6 basis points at 2.682%, moving closer to the 8-year peak it touched on Tuesday at 2.735%.


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