June 24, 2019 / 2:02 PM / a month ago

Loonie adds to last week's rally ahead of G20 meeting

FILE PHOTO: Newly pressed Canadian one dollar coins, also know as loonies, at the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg on November 14, 2007. REUTERS/Fred Greenslade/File Photo

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Monday, adding to last week’s gains ahead of a meeting this week between the Chinese and U.S. presidents, as oil prices climbed and the greenback broadly weakened.

The U.S. dollar fell against its rivals after sustaining its biggest weekly drop in four months last week as the Federal Reserve opened the doors for a rate cut as early as next month.

The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, extended large gains last week that were prompted by tensions between Iran and the United States, as Washington was set to announce new sanctions on Tehran. U.S. crude oil futures were up 0.4% at $57.63 a barrel.

At 9:24 a.m. (1324 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.2% higher at 1.3199 to the greenback, or 75.76 U.S. cents. The currency, which rose 1.4% last week, traded in a range of 1.3178 to 1.3220.

Gains for the loonie came as global stocks were buoyed by hopes that a meeting later this week between presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan would de-escalate a trade war that is damaging the global economy.

Canada runs a current account deficit, so its economy could benefit from an improved flow of global trade or capital.

Meanwhile, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Reuters calculations showed on Friday that speculators have raised their bearish bets on the Canadian dollar for the first time in five weeks. As of June 18, net short positions had increased to 38,071 contracts from 32,840 in the prior week.

Canadian government bond prices were higher across the yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The two-year rose 5.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.403% and the 10-year was up 34 Canadian cents to yield 1.448%.

Canada’s wholesale trade report for April is due on Tuesday and April gross domestic product data is due on Friday.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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