April 24, 2019 / 1:11 PM / 7 months ago

CANADA FX DEBT-Loonie slides to seven-week low ahead of BoC rate decision

    * Canadian dollar dips 0.1% against the greenback
    * Loonie touches its weakest since March 8 at 1.3461
    * Price of U.S. oil rises 0.1%
    * Canada's 2-year yield hits a nearly four-week low

    TORONTO, April 24 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened
to a nearly seven-week low against its U.S. counterpart on
Wednesday, as the greenback added to strong gains in the prior
session and as investors awaited an interest rate decision from
the Bank of Canada.
    Canada's central bank is widely expected to leave its
benchmark interest rate at 1.75% when the rate decision is
announced at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT).
    In October, the Bank of Canada hiked rates for the fifth
time since July 2017. But the Canadian economy has taken a hit
from the province of Alberta's mandatory production cut of oil -
its biggest export - a slowdown in the housing market and
wilting business sentiment over worries surrounding the
U.S.-China trade war.    
    Data from the overnight index swap market implies a
greater-than 50% chance of a rate cut by December.              
    Meanwhile, souring confidence measures in the euro zone have
kept the U.S. dollar        supported near 22-month highs.
            
    At 8:51 a.m. (1251 GMT), the Canadian dollar          was
trading 0.1% lower at 1.3442 to the greenback, or 74.39 U.S.
cents. The currency touched its weakest intraday level since
March 8 at 1.3461.
    The loonie weakened despite the price of oil, one of
Canada's major exports, hovering around six-month highs.
            
    U.S. crude        prices were up 0.1% at $66.37 a barrel as
data showing rising U.S. stocks countered fears of tight supply
resulting from OPEC output cuts and U.S. sanctions on Venezuela
and Iran.
    Canadian government bond prices were higher across the yield
curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries and German Bunds.
    The two-year            rose 6.5 Canadian cents to yield
1.536%, its lowest since March 29, and the 10-year            
was up 43 Canadian cents to yield 1.705%.     

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
  
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