TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, sticking to a narrow range as oil prices fell on U.S.-China tensions and data showed widening in Canada’s current account deficit.
Canada’s current account deficit widened to C$9.86 billion in the third quarter from a revised C$6.74 billion deficit in the second quarter, on a higher deficit on goods, Statistics Canada said. Analysts had forecast a deficit of C$9 billion.
Separate data from Statistics Canada showed that average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees rose at an annual rate of 4% in September, while the number of payroll employees declined by 28,000 for the month.
Canada’s gross domestic product for the third quarter is due on Friday, which can help guide expectations for next week’s interest rate decision by the Bank of Canada.
The central bank is now seen leaving rates on hold through to the end of next year, according to a slim majority of economists in a Reuters poll.
The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, fell for a second day after official data showed U.S. crude and gasoline stocks rose and President Donald Trump signed into law a bill backing protesters in Hong Kong, fuelling tensions with China.
U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 were down 0.5% at $57.84 a barrel.
At 9:15 a.m. (1415 GMT), the Canadian dollar CAD=D4 was trading nearly unchanged at 1.3287 to the greenback, or 75.26 U.S. cents. The currency traded in a narrow range of 1.3278 to 1.3299.
U.S. markets are closed for Thanksgiving, which could constrain investor activity.
Canadian government bond prices were slightly higher across the yield curve, with the two-year CA2YT=RR up 1 Canadian cent to yield 1.596% and the 10-year CA10YT=RR rising 5 Canadian cents to yield 1.469%.
Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Alistair Bell
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