Canadian dollar hits five-week low as investors eye slowing Fed stimulus
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened to a five-week low against the U.S. currency on Wednesday, ahead of the release of U.S. Federal Reserve minutes expected to point towards an imminent slowing of the central bank's massive monetary stimulus.
The loonie, as Canada's currency is colloquially known, also came under pressure as a string of emerging market currencies slumped on the assumption that Fed largesse will be curtailed.
Canada is linked to the fate of emerging markets because of its heavy reliance on the export of natural resources.
The minutes of the Fed's most recent policy-making meeting in July are due to be released at 2:00 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT).
"We seem to be going into the minutes with the market queued up for the tapering process to begin in September with a fair degree of certainty," said Adam Cole, global head of currency strategy at Royal Bank of Canada.
"If the minutes leave any uncertainty on that, the risk is that expectations start to drift away from September and that leaves the (U.S.) dollar vulnerable, in the short term at least."
At 9:02 a.m. (1302 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.0432 to the greenback, or 95.86 U.S. cents, compared with C$1.0389, or 96.26 U.S. cents, at Tuesday's North American close.
At one point it reached C$1.0448, its weakest since July 11.
The price of Canadian government debt fell across the maturity curve. The two-year bond was off 2 Canadian cents to yield 1.199 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond fell 18 Canadian cents to yield 2.705 percent.
(Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Bernadette Baum)
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