July 31, 2017 / 1:55 PM / 23 days ago

Canadian dollar weakens but on track to advance for third straight month

FILE PHOTO: U.S. and Canada Dollar notes are seen in this June 22, 2017 illustration photo.Thomas White/Illustration/File Photo

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened on Monday against its U.S. counterpart as oil prices dipped and the greenback posted broader gains, but the loonie was on track to advance for the third straight month.

The currency has rallied more than 10 percent since early May, including 4 percent this month, as the Bank of Canada raised interest rates for the first time in nearly seven years.

Data on Friday showing robust growth in the domestic economy in May has supported expectations that the central bank will hike again in the coming months. BOCWATCH

U.S. crude CLc1 prices were down 0.38 percent at $49.52 a barrel. Prices had hit an earlier 2-month high, boosted by news of a producers' technical meeting next week.

The U.S. dollar .DXY edged higher against a basket of major currencies after euro zone inflation data helped cool expectations of a rapid withdrawal of policy stimulus by the European Central Bank in the coming months.

At 9:32 a.m. ET (1332 GMT), the Canadian dollar CAD=D4 was trading at C$1.2472 to the greenback, or 80.18 U.S. cents, down 0.3 percent.

The currency traded in a range of C$1.2433 to C$1.2490. On Thursday, it touched its strongest in more than two years at C$1.2414.

Speculators have increased bullish bets on the loonie, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Reuters calculations showed on Friday. Canadian dollar net long positions rose to 26,613 contracts as of July 25 from 8,043 contracts a week earlier.

Canadian government bond prices were mixed across a steeper yield curve, with the two-year CA2YT=RR price up 0.5 Canadian cent to yield 1.325 percent and the 10-year CA10YT=RR falling 23 Canadian cents to yield 2.056 percent.

The 10-year yield touched its highest since November 2014 at 2.065 percent.

Canadian producer prices fell more than expected in June as energy and petroleum products saw their largest decline since February of last year, data from Statistics Canada showed.

Domestic jobs data for July and trade data for June are due on Friday. ECONCA

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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