November 13, 2018 / 2:47 PM / 8 months ago

Canadian dollar steadies after hitting four-month low on oil price slump

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against the greenback on Tuesday, steadying after it touched the weakest level in nearly four months earlier in the session as a sell-off in oil accelerated.

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

The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, plunged to lows not seen since last November due to ongoing worries about weakening global demand, oversupply and declines across other asset classes, including equities.

U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 settled 7.1 percent lower at $55.69 a barrel.

The slide in oil prices “is delivering a very, very hard blow to the Canadian dollar,” said Karl Schamotta, director global markets strategy at Cambridge Global Payments. “The correlation between WTI (West Texas Intermediate) and the Canadian dollar has risen quite substantially.”

The one-month rolling correlation between the Canadian dollar and oil rose to 85 percent on Tuesday, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, indicating that the currency and the commodity move mostly in the same direction. As recently as August, the correlation was negative.

At 3:35 p.m. (2035 GMT), the Canadian dollar CAD=D4 was trading nearly unchanged at 1.3249 to the greenback, or 75.48 U.S. cents. Still, the currency touched 1.3264, its weakest intraday level since July 20.

The U.S. dollar .DXY declined against a basket of major currencies as Britain and the European Union agreed on a preliminary text for the nation to leave the economic bloc, boosting the euro and sterling.

“Optimism surrounding a Brexit deal has had virtually no impact on the Canadian dollar,” Schamotta said.

Wall Street gave up early gains as a rebound in technology stocks and renewed hope for progress in trade talks were offset by drops in Boeing and energy stocks.

Canadian government bond prices were higher across a flatter yield curve, tracking U.S. Treasuries, following the Remembrance Day holiday in Canada on Monday.

The two-year CA2YT=RR rose 6 Canadian cents to yield 2.307 percent and the 10-year CA10YT=RR climbed 43.5 Canadian cents to yield 2.455 percent.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Susan Thomas and Richard Chang

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