C$ ends slightly firmer in quiet trade

Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:49pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar gave up early gains to settle slightly higher against the U.S. currency on Monday as oil prices slipped from recent highs and investors returned from a long holiday weekend to strong Chinese growth data and softer U.S. data.

"It's a very quiet market that's getting kicked around by some flows," said Brad Schruder, director of corporate sales and structuring at Bank of Montreal.

"Europe is closed and North America is coming back from a long weekend," he added. "You're really not looking at anything directional or strategic."

The loonie, as Canada's currency is colloquially known, caught a boost early in the session after data showed China's economy expanded faster than expected in the first quarter, with industrial output up by the most in more than two years.

Demand for industrial metals and other materials in China can support the commodity-linked Canadian currency.

The Canadian dollar CAD=D4 ended the day changing hands at C$1.3316 to the greenback, or 75.09 U.S. cents, slightly stronger than Thursday's close of C$1.3328, or 75.03 U.S. cents.

The currency's strongest level of the session was C$1.3264, while its weakest level was C$1.3321.

BMO's Schruder said pricing should get more indicative closer to Friday's release of Canadian inflation data.   Continued...

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