Canadian dollar hits session high after strong retail sales
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's currency touched a session high against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday after data showed domestic retail sales jumped much more than expected.
Following the data, the Canadian dollar strengthened to C$0.9875 versus the greenback, or $1.0127, compared with C$0.9890, or $1.0111, before the release.
Canada retail sales in October climbed 0.7 percent from September to a record C$39.45 billion ($39.85 billion), thanks to higher sales at motor vehicle dealers and gas stations.
Greg Moore, FX Strategist at TD Securities, said that ahead of the retail sales numbers, the market hadn't expected a big reaction from the Canadian dollar, as the focus had been more on uncertainty surrounding the U.S. budget crisis.
"That would be the case unless we saw a pretty significant surprise," said Moore. "This (strong retail sales) was higher than pretty much all forecasters were expecting."
At 9:20 a.m. (1420 GMT), the currency eased back to C$0.9880, or $1.0121, little changed from Wednesday's North American session close at C$0.9881, or $1.0120.
Moore noted near-term U.S. dollar resistance versus Canada's around C$0.9900 and support around C$0.9825-30.
In other data, the U.S. economy grew faster than previously estimated in the third quarter as exports and government spending provided a lift, but that boost is likely to be lost amid slowing global demand and a move towards tighter fiscal policy. Continued...