May 11, 2020 / 2:25 PM / 3 months ago

Canadian dollar slides as risk of second infection wave weighs

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as the potential for a second wave of coronavirus infections worried investors, with the loonie retreating from an earlier 11-day high.

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

The Canadian dollar CAD= was trading 0.6% lower at 1.4008 to the greenback, or 71.39 U.S. cents. The currency, which strengthened 1.1% last week, touched its strongest intraday level since April 30 at 1.3901.

“Its not really a CAD story since the USD is up across all the majors today,” said Tony Valente, senior FX dealer at AscendantFX. “Over the last few weeks, the CAD has been more correlated to risk sentiment then oil prices.”

The U.S. dollar .DXY, seen as a safe-haven currency, rose against a basket of major currencies as Germany and South Korea reported a surge in COVID-19 cases after easing lockdowns.

Canada runs a current account deficit and is a major exporter of commodities, including oil, so the loonie tends to be sensitive to the global flow of trade and capital.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude settled 2.4% lower at $24.14 a barrel as worries about a second wave of coronavirus infections offset new output cuts from Saudi Arabia.

Newly appointed Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem projected a halting economic recovery during an interview with Reuters conducted before he was named, suggesting he would continue the central bank’s loose monetary policy approach.

Canada said on Monday it would create a bridge financing facility for large employers and the expansion of its lending program to middle-sized businesses that need support to get through the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus.

Data on Friday showed that Canada lost a record-breaking 2 million jobs in April and that speculators had increased their bearish bets on the Canadian dollar to the heaviest since last June. 1090741NNET

Canadian government bond yields were little changed across the curve on Monday, with the 10-year yield CA10YT=RR at 0.586%.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Alistair Bell and Peter Cooney

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