July 20, 2018 / 8:12 PM / in 2 months

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ rises vs soft U.S. dollar on robust Canadian data

* Canadian inflation, retail sales data boost loonie

* CAD gains helped by U.S. dollar weakness after Trump comments

* Canadian yields higher after strong data (Adds comment, updates prices)

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

July 20 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar rose against a broadly weak U.S. dollar on Friday after strong inflation and retail sales data reinforced expectations for another interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada this year.

The loonie posted its largest one-day gain versus the U.S. dollar in three weeks.

Canada’s annual inflation rose last month to its highest level in more than six years, while retail sales in May posted their biggest increase in seven months.

The annual inflation rate rose to 2.5 percent in June, exceeding market expectations, while Canadian retail sales in May rose 2.0 percent.

“There’s a good chance the Bank of Canada hikes again later this year — odds of this have picked up to around 64 percent — but we may need to see external headwinds such as U.S. trade risks fade, while domestic data needs to continue to print constructively,” said Viraj Patel, foreign exchange strategist, at ING in London.

In afternoon trading, the U.S. dollar fell 1.1 percent against the Canadian currency to C$1.3127.

Analysts at Scotiabank said the U.S. dollar appears at greater risk of a sustained push lower against the Canadian unit following heavy losses overall. It added that the decline re-affirms resistance in the upper C$1.32 area and focuses the market’s attention on key support at the low C$1.31s.

The Canadian dollar also rose against the euro, which fell 0.4 percent to C$1.5393. It also gained against sterling, which slid 0.2 percent to C$1.7237.

The loonie’s rise has also been helped by the drop in the U.S. dollar after President Donald Trump on Thursday and Friday complained about a strong greenback and the rise in U.S. interest rates. [FRX/ USD/]

Against a basket of six major currencies, the U.S. dollar fell 0.8 percent to 94.436, way below the one-year high of 95.62 reached in the previous session.

In the fixed income market, Canadian government bond prices were lower across the curve and yields were higher following the release of strong Canadian data and in line with the U.S. Treasuries market.

The two-year yield rose 1.974 percent, compared with 1.931 percent late on Thursday, while the 10-year was up at 2.177 percent from Thursday’s 2.109 percent.

The spread between the U.S. 10-year Treasury and Canadian 10-year yields narrowed for a third straight day on Friday to just under 70 basis points on strong Canadian economic reports. The yield gap, however, has expanded since the beginning of the year in favor of the U.S. dollar. (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York Editing by Dan Grebler and Sandra Maler)

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