April 14, 2020 / 7:20 PM / 4 months ago

CANADA FX DEBT-Canadian dollar rally stalls ahead of potential further BoC easing

 (Adds strategist quotes and details throughout; updates prices)
    * Canadian dollar trades near flat against the greenback
    * Loonie trades in a range of 1.3863 to 1.3924
    * Price of U.S. oil decreases 10.3%
    * Canadian bond yields trade mixed across the curve

    By Fergal Smith
    TORONTO, April 14 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little
changed against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday, with the
currency steadying after a recent rally as investors weighed
prospects of further easing measures this week by the Bank of
Canada.
    Money markets expect the Bank of Canada to leave its
benchmark interest rate on hold at 0.25% at a scheduled policy
announcement on Wednesday but the central bank could announce
other measures, such as an adjustment to its asset-purchase, or
quantitative easing (QE), program.
    Since the start of March, the central bank has slashed
interest rates by a total of 150 basis points, in a series of
emergency moves, and begun buying at least C$5 billion of
government bonds per week.        
    "If the BoC were to loosen again at the margin, we expect it
to be in their QE program," said Simon Harvey, an FX market
analyst for Monex Europe and Monex Canada. "The current (C$)$5
billion of weekly purchases is a drop in the ocean compared to
the US Fed's."    
    The U.S. Federal Reserve has more than $5.9 trillion of
assets on its books.             
    At 2:59 p.m. (1859 GMT), the Canadian dollar        was
trading nearly unchanged at 1.3903 to the greenback, or 71.93
U.S. cents. The currency, which on Monday touched its strongest
intraday level since March 16 at 1.3852, traded in a range of
1.3863 to 1.3924.
    World stocks          climbed after Chinese trade data came
in better than expected and as some countries tried to restart
their economies by partly lifting restrictions aimed at
containing the coronavirus pandemic.             
    Canada is a major exporter of commodities, including oil, so
its economy could be hurt particularly hard by global economic
contraction.
    The International Monetary Fund projected that global output
would fall by 3% in 2020, with Canada's economy expected to
shrink by 6.2%.                 
    U.S. crude oil futures        settled 10.3% lower at $20.11
a barrel, with investors doubting that record supply cuts could
soon balance markets as demand plunges due to the coronavirus
pandemic.                 
    Canadian government bond yields were mixed across the curve.
The 10-year             was up by half of a basis point at
0.764%.

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