June 14, 2019 / 7:30 PM / 2 months ago

Loonie hits eight-day low as U.S. data boosts greenback

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar fell to a one-week low against its U.S. counterpart on Friday as U.S. data suggesting a pick-up in consumer spending boosted the greenback.

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/File Photo

The U.S. dollar rose against a basket of major currencies after encouraging U.S. retail sales data for May eased fears that the U.S. economy is slowing sharply, ahead of the Federal Reserve’s meeting next week.

“It’s a U.S. dollar move across the board ... the buying started right after that data came out,” said Brad Schruder, director of corporate sales and structuring at BMO Capital Markets.

“I think what this is providing is an opportunity for Canadian companies that did not hedge some U.S. dollar cash flows a few weeks ago, when we were trading at about 1.3550, to step in here because the narrative is shifting around the Federal Reserve,” Schruder said.

The Canadian dollar could benefit if the Bank of Canada cuts interest rates less than the Federal Reserve. Money markets see about a 70% chance of a Bank of Canada rate cut by December, while they are pricing in at least two cuts over the same period by the Fed.

At 2:50 p.m. (1850 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.6% lower at 1.3413 to the greenback, or 74.55 U.S. cents, its biggest decline since March 6.

The currency, which fell 1.1% for the week, touched its weakest level since June 6 at 1.3424.

The decline for the loonie came as global stocks were pressured by more signs of slowdown in Chinese industry and as the long-feared hit to global growth from U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade war crystallized in slashed sales forecast from chipmaker Broadcom.

Canada runs a current account deficit and exports many commodities, including oil, so its economy could be hurt if a trade war between the United States and China slows the global flow of trade or capital.

Oil rose, paring this week’s decline, after attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman this week raised concerns about potential supply disruptions. U.S. crude oil futures settled 0.4% higher at %52.51 a barrel.

Canadian government bond prices were slightly higher across much of the yield curve, with the two-year up 0.5 Canadian cent to yield 1.385% and the 10-year rising 5 Canadian cents to yield 1.445%.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Sandra Maler

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