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Markets

Canadian dollar steadies as oil prices, wholesale trade fall

Canadian dollar trades near flat against the greenback,  Canadian wholesale trade declines 1.2% in August Pric
23 Oct 2019
  • Canadian dollar trades near flat against the greenback,  Canadian wholesale trade declines 1.2% in August
  • Price of US oil decreases 1.3%, Canadian bond prices rise across the yield curve

TORONTO: The Canadian dollar was little changed against its US counterpart on Wednesday, with the currency losing some of its recent positive momentum as oil prices fell and domestic data showed a surprise drop in August wholesale trade.

Canadian wholesale trade decreased by 1.2% in August from July on weaker sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector, as well as personal and household goods, Statistics Canada said. Analysts had forecast a 0.3% increase.

The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, slipped on data showing a bigger-than-expected rise in US crude stocks. US crude oil futures were down 1.3% at $53.75 a barrel.

At 9:23 a.m. (1323 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading nearly unchanged at 1.3095 to the greenback, or 76.37 US cents. The currency, which notched a three-month high on Tuesday at 1.3071, traded in a narrow range of 1.3088 to 1.3109.

The steady profile for the loonie came after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal party won Monday's federal election but fell short of a majority government.

Investors are ditching bets that the Bank of Canada will cut interest rates over the coming months as the domestic economy shows resilience and the federal election result adds to prospects of growth-boosting fiscal spending next year.

The central bank's next interest rate decision is due on Oct. 30, the same day that markets expect the Federal Reserve to cut US rates for the third time since July. That could lower the range for the Fed's benchmark rate below the equivalent rate for the Bank of Canada of 1.75%.

Canadian government bond prices were higher across the yield curve, with the two-year up 4.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.602% and the benchmark 10-year rising 20 Canadian cents to yield 1.498%.

The 10-year yield hit its lowest since Oct. 15 at 1.484%.