Dollar ends losing week with minor fall

Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:51pm EDT
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By Frank Pingue

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar closed slightly lower versus the U.S. dollar on Friday in a lackluster session that capped a losing week in which weak retail sales data and a Bank of Canada rate cut rattled the currency.

Bond prices, with no Canadian data to consider on Friday, finished lower across the curve as dealers curtailed bets on further rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The Canadian dollar closed at C$1.0163 to the U.S. dollar, or 98.40 U.S. cents, down from C$1.0142 to the U.S. dollar, or 98.60 U.S. cents, at Thursday's close.

It marked a quiet end to a week in which the Canadian dollar shed 1.1 percent after sliding in four of the five sessions.

The bulk of the Canadian dollar's fall came after a report on Wednesday that showed an unexpected drop in Canadian retail sales for February.

The commodity-linked currency had little reaction to the surge in oil prices to a record high near $120 a barrel, a key reason it has been unable to break out of the tight range it has been wedged in for all of 2008.

"And I think that speaks volumes about which way the market is headed," said Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets. "It just takes a lot of good news to drive the currency higher from current levels and not much at all to knock it down."

In the latest session, the Canadian dollar stuck to a range of C$1.0121 to the U.S. dollar, or 98.81 U.S. cents, and C$1.0189 to the U.S. dollar, or 98.15 U.S. cents.   Continued...