TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened to a 12-day high against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as oil climbed, while investors awaited a speech on Tuesday from Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz.
Prices of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, reached their highest since early July 2015, as Saudi Arabia’s crown prince cemented his power over the weekend with an anti-corruption crackdown.
U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 settled 3.1 percent higher at $57.35 a barrel.
The combination of higher oil prices and the prospect of further interest rate hikes from the Bank of Canada in the first half of 2018 point to further gains for the Canadian dollar in the short term, said Ranko Berich, head of market analysis at Monex Canada and Monex Europe.
Canada’s central bank is expected to hold rates steady in December after hiking twice this year. But data on Friday showing unexpected strength in the nation’s job market has supported expectations for further increases next year.
Poloz will discuss central banks’ ability to understand inflation, which can help guide expectations for further interest rate hikes.
At 4:30 p.m. EDT (2130 GMT), the Canadian dollar CAD=D4 was trading at C$1.2708 to the greenback, or 78.69 U.S. cents, up 0.4 percent.
The currency touched its strongest since Oct. 25 at C$1.2707.
The pace of purchasing activity in Canada picked up in October to its strongest in 21 months as inventories and prices climbed, according to Ivey Purchasing Managers Index data.
Still, speculators have cut bullish bets on the loonie, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Reuters calculations showed on Friday. As of Oct. 31, Canadian dollar net long positions had slipped to 57,839 contracts from 72,332 a week earlier.
Canadian government bond prices were higher across the yield curve, in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The two-year CA2YT=RR rose 4 Canadian cents to yield 1.420 percent, and the 10-year CA10YT=RR climbed 25 Canadian cents to yield 1.926 percent.
Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Tom Brown