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Loonie climbs to three-month high as investors cheer economic reopening

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened to a three-month high against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as hopes of a quick economic rebound from the coronavirus crisis overshadowed lower oil prices.

FILE PHOTO: A Canadian dollar coin, commonly known as the "Loonie", is pictured in this illustration picture taken in Toronto January 23, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

U.S. stocks rose, with the Nasdaq hitting a new record close after a surprisingly upbeat jobs report last week raised expectations of a swift recovery from a coronavirus-driven downturn.

Canada, which also reported surprisingly strong jobs data last week, is a major producer of commodities, including oil, so the loonie tends to benefit from a brighter outlook for the global economy.

“The reopening trade is in full flight globally,” said Adam Button, chief currency analyst at ForexLive. “Ontario added its name to the list today.”

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, will reopen some hair salons and outdoor dining at restaurants, among other businesses, on Friday, the provincial government announced, but only in health regions where the spread of COVID-19 is under better control.

The Canadian dollar CAD= was trading 0.5% higher at 1.3361 to the greenback, or 74.84 U.S. cents. The currency touched its strongest intraday level since March 4 at 1.3356.

Speculators have pared their bearish bets on the loonie for a second straight week, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on Friday.

Canadian housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 193,453 units in May from 166,477 units in April, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation said on Monday.

U.S. crude futures CLc1 settled 3.4% lower at $38.19 a barrel after Saudi Arabia said an extension of output cuts by OPEC+ nations would not include extra voluntary cuts by a trio of Gulf producers.

Canadian government bond yields were mixed across a flatter curve, with the 10-year yield CA10YT=RR down 4.8 basis points at 0.685%. On Friday, it touched its highest intraday level since mid-April at 0.768%.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Jonathan Oatis

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