February 12, 2020 / 1:18 PM / 13 days ago

Loonie climbs to nine-day high as coronavirus fears ease

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened to a nine-day high against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday as reduced concern about the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak boosted stocks and the price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports.

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 4:52 p.m. EST (2152 GMT), the Canadian dollar CAD=D4 was trading 0.3% higher at 1.3251 to the greenback, or 75.47 U.S. cents. The currency touched its strongest intraday level since Feb. 3 at 1.3237.

“The move reflects a pick-up in risk appetite in global markets as concerns about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak recede,” analysts at Action Economics said in a note. “A reported dip in new coronavirus cases in China has been tonic for investors.”

Global stock markets .WORLD and oil prices climbed as China reported its lowest daily number of new coronavirus cases since late January. The news stoked investor hopes that fuel demand in the world’s second-largest oil consumer may begin to recover from the epidemic.

U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 settled 2.5% higher at $51.17 a barrel.

On Monday, the loonie hit a four-month low at 1.3330. The currency has been pressured since the beginning of the year by lower commodity prices and a more dovish stance from the Bank of Canada.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz is due to participate in a panel discussion on Thursday in Melbourne, Australia, which could offer clues on the outlook for interest rates.

An indigenous community opposing construction of a gas pipeline in Canada launched a legal challenge on Wednesday over the climate impact of fossil fuel projects on indigenous territories while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged pipeline protesters blocking rail lines to find a quick solution.

Canadian government bond yields rose across a steeper yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries on Wednesday. The 10-year yield was up 4 basis points at 1.399%, having touched its highest intraday level since Jan. 24 at 1.406%.

Ontario, one of the world’s largest sub-sovereign debtors, priced on Wednesday a C$500 million 7-year green bond, the finance ministry said, with strong demand helping the province to borrow at a better rate than for its regular bonds.

Reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Matthew Lewis

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