April 20, 2020 / 8:01 PM / in 4 months

CANADA FX DEBT-Canadian dollar slides as the price of oil turns negative

 (Adds strategist quotes and details throughout, updates prices)
    * Canadian dollar falls 1% against the greenback
    * Canadian wholesale trade rises 0.7% in February
    * Price of U.S. oil ends negative for first time in history
    * Canadian bond yields trade mixed across the curve

    By Fergal Smith
    TORONTO, April 20 (Reuters) - The oil-linked Canadian dollar
weakened against the greenback on Monday as the price of U.S.
crude slumped to a record low at well below zero, with the
loonie posting the second biggest decline among G10 currencies.
    At 3:29 p.m. (1929 GMT), the Canadian dollar          was
trading 1% lower at 1.4115 to the greenback, or 70.85 U.S.
cents. The currency traded in a range of 1.4020 to 1.4137.
    Among G10 currencies, only the Norwegian krone        lost
more ground. Canada and Norway are both major oil producers.
    "The primary story is just the oil story," said Greg
Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO
Capital Markets. "It has certainly crimped CAD for today and may
well for tomorrow too."    
    "North American oil is trading with much more problems than
oil for delivery in other places," Anderson said.
    The front-month contract for U.S. crude       , which is due
to expire on Tuesday, settled $55.90 lower at minus $37.63 a
barrel, having turned negative for the first time in history as
declining storage space discouraged buyers.              
    Brent crude         was down 8.9% at $25.57.
    Meanwhile, Canada's province of Ontario forecast 20,000
cases of the novel coronavirus by the end of the month, a
quarter of the number it had projected just three weeks ago. But
the country's chief medical officer warned that it is not yet
time to ease up on quarantine measures.                 
    Authorities across Canada have ordered the closure of
non-essential businesses, throwing millions out of work.
    Ottawa is rolling out more than C$200 billion of economic
support measures, while the Bank of Canada has slashed interest
rates by 150 basis points since March and begun buying Canadian
government bonds.
    Last week, the central bank said it would broaden its
asset-purchase, or quantitative easing, program to include
provincial and corporate debt.                 
    Canadian government bond yields were mixed across the curve
on Monday, with the 10-year             falling by less than one
basis point to 0.638%.
    Canadian wholesale trade increased 0.7% in February from
January on stronger sales in the motor vehicles and motor
vehicle parts and accessories subsector, Statistics Canada said.
Analysts had forecast a 0.5% decrease.             
    In separate data, the Teranet-National Bank Composite House
Price Index showed prices of single-family homes were up 0.6% in
March from February.             
    Canada's inflation report for March is due on Wednesday.

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
  
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