January 30, 2019 / 2:47 PM / 3 months ago

Canadian dollar tracks oil prices higher ahead of Fed rate decision

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday as stocks and oil prices rose ahead of a Federal Reserve interest rate decision, with the currency on track to outperform its peers in the month of January.

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

U.S. stocks were boosted by Apple Inc’s results, while the price of oil climbed on concerns about supply disruptions following U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry.

U.S. crude prices were up 1.2 percent at $53.97 a barrel. Oil is one of Canada’s major exports.

The U.S. central bank was scheduled to release its latest policy statement at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT). Investors widely expected the Fed to leave its benchmark overnight lending rate unchanged in a target range of 2.25 percent to 2.50 percent due to a more uncertain global economic outlook.

At 9:14 a.m. (1414 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.4 percent higher at 1.3223 to the greenback, or 75.63 U.S. cents.

The currency, which on Monday touched its strongest intraday level in more than two weeks at 1.3204, traded in a range of 1.3213 to 1.3282.

The loonie has climbed 3.2 percent for the month so far, the best performance of G10 currencies. It declined 7.8 percent in 2018.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday sent Congress a list of legislative changes required to implement the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade pact, a key step in the approval process for replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Canada sends about 75 percent of its exports to the United States.

Canadian government bond prices were lower across the yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The two-year fell 2 Canadian cents to yield 1.861 percent and the 10-year declined 13 Canadian cents to yield 1.956 percent.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

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