February 20, 2020 / 3:13 PM / in 3 months

CANADA FX DEBT-Canadian dollar retreats as investors worry about virus threat

    * Canadian dollar falls 0.2% against the greenback
    * Canada payroll employment rises 25,900 in January
    * Price of U.S. oil rises 1.3%
    * Canadian bond yields fall across a flatter yield curve

    TORONTO, Feb 20 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened
against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday as evidence of the
coronavirus spreading outside of China weighed on investor
sentiment, while a measure of domestic employment showed jobs
rose for the seventh straight month.
    Stocks globally          fell as South Korea reported a
spike in new cases and Japan reported two new deaths, while
research suggested the virus spreads faster than previously
thought.             
    Canada is a major exporter of commodities, including oil, so
its economy could be hurt should the coronavirus outbreak slow
global growth.
    U.S. crude oil futures        were up 1.3%, supported by
China's efforts to boost its economy and supply concerns in
Venezuela and Libya.             
    At 9:46 a.m. EST (1446 GMT), the Canadian dollar         
was trading 0.2% lower at 1.3241 to the greenback, or 75.52 U.S.
cents. The currency traded in a range of 1.3212 to 1.3265.
    Canada added 25,900 jobs in January, led by hiring in the
trade, transportation and utilities and construction sectors,
according to a report from payroll services provider ADP
released on Thursday.             
    Separate data showed that the Teranet-National Bank
Composite House Price Index rose 0.1% in January, paced by gains
for the Eastern Canadian metropolitan areas of Hamilton and
Montreal.              
    Canadian bond yields fell across a flatter yield curve in
sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year yield was down 2.8
basis points at 1.331%.
    Canada's retail sales report for December is due on Friday,
which could help guide expectations for the Bank of Canada
interest rate outlook. Money markets see about a 40% chance that
the central bank would ease by April.            

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
  
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