June 19, 2020 / 8:42 PM / 2 months ago

CANADA FX DEBT-Canadian dollar steadies as data shows economy seesawing

 (Adds analysts' quotes and details throughout; updates prices)
    * Canadian dollar trades near flat against the greenback
    * Canadian retail sales plunge 26.4% in April
    * Price of U.S. oil increases 2.3%
    * Canadian bond yields rise across a flatter curve

    By Fergal Smith
    TORONTO, June 19 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little
changed against the greenback on Friday after domestic data that
was consistent with an economy regaining some ground in May
after an April freefall and ahead of a speech next week by Bank
of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem.
    Canadian retail sales plummeted 26.4% in April, Statistics
Canada data showed. That was a bigger drop than economists had
expected but a flash estimate from the national statistical
agency was for sales to rebound 19.1% in May.             
    "Just as the shutdown was a bit more intense, as things
begin to reopen the initial rebound will likely be bigger," said
Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.
    The Canadian dollar        was trading nearly unchanged at
1.3600 to the greenback, or 73.53 U.S. cents. The currency
traded in a range of 1.3547 to 1.3616, while it was down 0.1%
for the week.
    The steady performance for the loonie came ahead of a speech
on Monday by Macklem, whose term as governor began earlier this
month, that could help guide expectations for the Bank of
Canada's large-scale asset purchase (LSAP) program.
    "Any discussion on the path for LSAP's going forward by
Macklem on Monday, or in central bank communications going
forward, is likely to cause heightened volatility for the
loonie," strategists at Monex Canada, including Simon Harvey,
said in a note.
    The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, was
bolstered by a promise from OPEC producers and allies to meet
supply cuts. U.S. crude oil futures        settled 2.3% higher
at $39.75 a barrel.             
    Canadian government bond yields were higher across a flatter
curve, with the 10-year             up less than one basis point
at 0.534%.

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis and
Marguerita Choy)
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