October 9, 2019 / 2:01 PM / 10 days ago

Loonie sits tight as investors seek clues on rate outlook

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, extending this week’s holding pattern, as markets awaited a clearer signal from central banks on the outlook for interest rates.

FILE PHOTO: A Canadian dollar coin, commonly known as the "Loonie", is pictured in this illustration picture taken in Toronto January 23, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

At 4:01 p.m. (2001 GMT), the Canadian dollar CAD=D4 was trading nearly unchanged at 1.3331 to the greenback, or 75.01 U.S. cents. The currency traded in a range of 1.3296 to 1.3334.

Since the start of the week, the range has been only slightly wider at between 1.3289 and 1.3336.

“The market is in a real snooze fest right now,” said Amo Sahota, director at Klarity FX in San Francisco. “Maybe the market is waiting for the next central bank meetings to come out.”

Both the Bank of Canada and the Federal Reserve will make their next interest rate decision on October 30.

Most Fed policymakers supported the need for an interest rate cut in September, minutes of the central bank’s last policy meeting showed on Wednesday, but they remain increasingly divided on the path ahead for monetary policy.

Canada’s employment report for September, due on Friday, can help guide expectations for the Bank of Canada policy outlook.

Robust job gains this year have supported the Canadian central bank’s decision to leave its benchmark interest rate on hold at 1.75%.

The Canadian dollar has found support this month each time it has approached the area around 1.3350.

If that support level is broken, then “there is room” for the currency to weaken to 1.35, Sahota said.

The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, gave up its earlier gains as a build in U.S. crude inventories offset potential disruption to supply and hopes of progress in ending the U.S.-China trade war. U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 settled 0.1% lower at $52.59 a barrel.

Canadian government bond prices were lower across the yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries after a flood of supply. The two-year CA2YT=RR fell 6 Canadian cents to yield 1.474% and the 10-year CA10YT=RR was down 31 Canadian cents to yield 1.312%.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Grant McCool

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