July 13, 2020 / 1:59 PM / a month ago

C$ dips as investors turn cautious amid rising COVID-19 cases

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar edged lower against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as rising coronavirus infections kept risk appetite in check and ahead of an interest rate decision this week from the Bank of Canada.

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

Wall Street gave up its earlier gains and the price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, settled 1.1% lower at $40.10 a barrel as a record daily rise in the amount of global coronavirus cases fanned fears of renewed government lockdowns.

“The concurrent declines in oil and equities appear to be holding back CAD here,” said Erik Nelson, a currency strategist at Wells Fargo.

Canada runs a current account deficit and is a major exporter of commodities, so the loonie tends to be sensitive to the global flow of trade and capital.

The Bank of Canada is moving to help keep down long-term bond yields as Ottawa cranks up issuance to pay for COVID-19-related spending, analysts say, with the central bank raising the amount of 30-year bonds it buys in its quantitative easing program.

The BoC is expected to leave its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.25% on Wednesday. BOCWATCH

The loonie CAD= was trading on Monday 0.1% lower at 1.3602 to the greenback, or 73.52 U.S. cents. The currency traded in a range of 1.3536 to 1.3610. On Friday, it hit a 10-day low at 1.3631.

Ontario will move most regions excluding Toronto into the third stage of reopening on Friday, Premier Doug Ford said, as Canada’s most-populous province lifts lockdowns put in place to limit the spread of the new coronavirus.

Canadian government bond yields were little changed, with the 10-year CA10YT=RR holding around 0.550%.

Producer prices in Canada gained 0.4% in June from May, primarily on higher prices for energy and petroleum products, Statistics Canada said in a preliminary flash estimate.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Peter Cooney

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