Canadian dollar dips as lower oil prices offset domestic data strength

Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:43am EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened on Monday against its U.S. counterpart as lower oil prices offset strong domestic wholesale trade data, while investors weighed the G20's decision to drop a pledge to resist trade protectionism.

Financial leaders of the world's biggest economies dropped a pledge to keep global trade free and open, acquiescing to an increasingly protectionist United States.

About 75 percent of Canadian exports go to the United States. Its economy could be hurt by renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the implementation of a proposed U.S. border adjustment tax.

Prices of oil, one of Canada's major exports, fell on concerns that growing U.S. crude output could hamper an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries-led production cut deal.

U.S. crude CLc1 prices were down 1.44 percent at $48.08 a barrel.

Canadian wholesale trade unexpectedly soared by 3.3 percent in January on stronger sales of motor vehicles and parts, Statistics Canada data showed. In volume terms, wholesale trade grew by 3.4 percent, which is likely to bolster overall economic growth for the month.

At 9:21 a.m. ET (1321 GMT), the Canadian dollar CAD=D4 was trading at C$1.3349 to the greenback, or 74.91 U.S. cents, slightly weaker than Friday's close of C$1.3337, or 74.98 U.S. cents.

The currency traded in a range of C$1.3304 to C$1.3371.

The loonie rose 0.9 percent last week, helped by stronger-than-expected domestic manufacturing data and the prospect of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes proceeding at only a gradual pace.   Continued...

File Photo: A Canadian dollar coin, commonly known as the "Loonie", is pictured in this illustration picture taken in Toronto January 23, 2015.   REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo