September 4, 2014 / 1:49 PM / 3 years ago

C$ gains, near one-week high, on data and ECB move

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar firmed to its highest in nearly a week against the greenback on Thursday, rising along with investors’ risk appetite after the European Central Bank cut interest rates to record lows to spur growth and thwart a deflation threat.

The loonie got an additional boost from data that showed the country’s trade surplus jumped in July to a nearly six-year high as exports rose. The report sent the loonie to a fresh session high.

“The trade number was very impressive,” said Mark Chandler, head of Canadian fixed income and currency strategy at Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto.

Policymakers are looking for the struggling export sector to become a bigger driver of Canadian economic growth, taking over from the boom in household debt.

Chandler expects the Bank of Canada will have to revise its growth forecasts higher at its next meeting in October.

“We’ve got a full percentage point stronger growth in the third quarter than the bank was last monitoring, so if we’re correct, it’s going to see a revised forecast,” he said.

“I would like to see them say at that point they have a tightening bias going forward, talk about an eventual removal of monetary accommodation, but they’ve been reluctant to do so in the past.”

The currency had surged heading into the report after the ECB cut its main refinancing rate to 0.05 percent and launched a new program to pump money into the euro zone economy. The Canadian dollar firmed against its other major currency crosses, and was strongly higher against the euro.

The Canadian dollar CAD=D4 was at C$1.0847 to the greenback, or 92.19 U.S. cents, stronger than Wednesday’s close of C$1.0888, or 91.84 U.S. cents.

The euro was down at C$1.4122 as investors monitored a press conference from ECB President Mario Draghi.

Canadian government bond prices were mostly lower across the maturity curve, though the two-year CA2YT=RR was unchanged to yield 1.120 percent. The benchmark 10-year CA10YT=RR was down 12 Canadian cents to yield 2.099 percent.

Editing by Bernadette Baum

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