TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s dollar climbed to a more than two-month high against the U.S. dollar on Thursday and hit a record peak against the euro on strong commodity prices and investor optimism about corporate earnings.
“Overall the commodities complex is higher on the day. You’ve seen ‘risk on’ sentiment in the market. It seems people are a touch more optimistic despite all the negativity in Europe, the weak data in the U.S.,” said Charles St-Arnaud, economist and currency strategist at Nomura Securities in New York.
Pressure remained on the U.S. dollar after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke kept alive talk of more monetary easing in the second stage of his testimony to the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, which also boosted commodities priced in U.S. dollars.
“What we see today really is a combination of just generalized U.S. dollar weakness against most of the G10 currencies and a moderately better tone for risk and all of that adds up really to (U.S.) dollar/Canada being lower,” said Adam Cole, global head of FX strategy at RBC Capital Markets in London.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada in the previous session kept its rate-hike stance, despite other major advanced economies moving in the opposite direction.
Higher interest rates typically help a country’s currency appreciate because they often attract international capital flows.
The Canadian dollar ended at C$1.0078 against the U.S. dollar, or 99.23 U.S. cents, firmer than Wednesday’s North American finish at C$1.0107 versus its U.S. counterpart, or 98.94 U.S. cents.
Earlier, the domestic currency touched C$1.0066, or 99.34 U.S. cents, its strongest level compared to the greenback since May 16.
After closing through the 200-day moving average on Wednesday, Cole noted, the Canadian dollar could revisit parity - a psychological resistance level - against its U.S. counterpart in the near term, as long as risk appetite continues to improve. Before that, it would have to test a retracement level around C$1.0050.
Nomura’s St-Arnaud said the currency will likely trade in the range of C$1.0050 to C$1.02 for the next several sessions.
Against the euro, Canada’s dollar hit a record of C$1.2314, or 81.21 euro cents, its strongest level against the common currency since it was created in January 1999.
Optimism was tempered by data on U.S. manufacturing, housing and labor markets, as well as a spike in Spain’s borrowing costs that intensified fears Madrid may eventually need a full-blown sovereign bailout. <MKTS/GLOB>
Canadian bond prices fell across the curve, with the two-year government bond down 4 Canadian cents to yield 0.981 percent, and the benchmark 10-year bond retreated 32 Canadian cents to yield at 1.654 percent.
Additional reporting by Claire Sibonney; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama