TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar edged lower against its U.S. counterpart on Friday after notching a three-month high the day before, as a smaller-than-expected gain for domestic retail sales in April sparked some profit taking by investors.
At 3:17 p.m. (1917 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.1% lower at 1.3210 to the greenback, or 75.70 U.S. cents. The currency, which on Thursday touched its strongest intraday level in more than three months at 1.3151, traded in a range of 1.3163 to 1.3229.
Canadian retail sales grew by 0.1% in April from March, led by higher sales at gasoline stations, Statistics Canada said. The April increase was less than the 0.2% advance that analysts had expected, although March’s already large gain was revised higher to 1.3%.
“It came a little bit weaker than expected,” said Tony Valente, a senior FX dealer at AscendantFX. “Being on a Friday, it was a chance to take profit after a really good run.”
The loonie was up 1.5% for the week, boosted by a rally in the price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, data showing a seven-month high for Canada’s annual rate of inflation and the prospect of Federal Reserve interest rate cuts.
“If you look at where we are in central banking, Canada and Norway are the only two countries right now that aren’t even thinking about cutting rates,” Valente said.
Last month, the Bank of Canada left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.75% and said there was evidence that the slowdown in the domestic economy was temporary.
Oil added to this week’s gains on fears the United States could attack Iran and disrupt flows from the Middle East, which provides more than a fifth of the world’s oil output. U.S. crude oil futures settled 0.6% higher at $57.43 a barrel.
Canadian government bond prices were lower across the yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries, with the two-year down 2 Canadian cents to yield 1.431% and the 10-year falling 15 Canadian cents to yield 1.482%.
On Tuesday, the 10-year touched its lowest intraday yield in two years at 1.383%.
Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Susan Thomas