Loonie holds near three-month high ahead of interest rate decisions

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against the greenback on Monday, holding near an earlier three-month high as investors grew optimistic on a U.S.-China trade deal and ahead of an interest rate decision this week from the Bank of Canada.

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

At 5 p.m. (2100 GMT), the Canadian dollar CAD=D4 was trading nearly unchanged at 1.3056 to the greenback, or 76.61 U.S. cents. The currency, which rose 0.5% last week, touched its strongest intraday level since July 22 at 1.3050.

“I think we are going to be treading water until we get the central bank announcements now,” said Amo Sahota, director at Klarity FX in San Francisco.

Both the Bank of Canada and the Federal Reserve are due to make policy announcements on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 hit a record high as a more civil tone between the United States and China lifted hopes for a possible trade deal and investors looked toward a Fed rate cut.

Canada is a major exporter of commodities, including oil, so its economy could benefit from an improved outlook for global trade. U.S. crude oil futures settled 1.5% lower at $55.81 a barrel amid expectations for higher U.S. crude stockpiles.

The Bank of Canada has left its benchmark interest rate on hold this year at 1.75% as the domestic economy added jobs at a robust pace and inflation stayed close to its 2% target.

The central bank is expected to wait until the first quarter of next year before cutting rates, a Reuters poll showed.

Canadian government bond prices were lower across the yield curve, with the two-year CA2YT=RR down 9.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.71% and the 10-year CA10YT=RR falling 74 Canadian cents to yield 1.619%.

The 10-year yield touched its highest intraday level since July 16 at 1.628%.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Peter Cooney