Canadian dollar weakens as U.S. growth revised up; domestic GDP on tap

(Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened against the greenback on Wednesday as the U.S. currency was boosted by stronger economic growth figures and ahead of data that will show how the domestic economy fared at the start of the year.

U.S. and Canada Dollar notes are seen in this June 22, 2017 illustration photo. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration

U.S. gross domestic product expanded at a 2.9 percent annual rate in the final three months of 2017, instead of the previously reported 2.5 percent, the Commerce Department said in its third GDP estimate for the period on Wednesday.

The figures helped lift the greenback 0.8 percent against a basket of currencies .DXY to the detriment of the loonie.

“The revision to the data today showed that the economy is doing quite strongly in the U.S., so that obviously bodes well for the U.S. dollar and the likelihood that the Fed will keep their path toward raising rates,” said Rahim Madhavji, president at

At 4:25 p.m. EDT (2025 GMT), the Canadian dollar CAD=D4 was trading down 0.3 percent at C$1.2925 to the greenback, or 77.37 U.S. cents.

Investors will get a look at monthly Canadian GDP on Thursday, with economic growth expected to have picked up by just 0.1 percent in January.

Canada is coming off an exceptionally strong 2017, and analysts are looking to see how much growth can be sustained following three interest rate increases and tighter mortgage regulations that are expected to dampen the housing market.

“I think what people are focusing on is what’s the tone of growth, where is the economy going and whether or not there’s enough strength in the economy and enough momentum to continue to see the Bank of Canada’s pricing around two rate hikes this year continue to hold up,” said Mark McCormick, North American head of FX strategy at TD Securities in Toronto.

Ontario was the latest province to release its budget, saying late on Wednesday it would boost spending on healthcare and childcare as it made a swift return to running deficits and projected a long road back to balance.

Canadian government bond prices were higher across the maturity curve, with the two-year CA2YT=RR price up 4.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.806 percent and the benchmark 10-year CA10YT=RR rising 20 Canadian cents to yield 2.119 percent.

Reporting by Karen Brettell in New York and Leah Schnurr in Ottawa; editing by Jonathan Oatis