January 30, 2020 / 2:25 PM / 22 days ago

CORRECTED-CANADA FX DEBT-Loonie hits 7-week low ahead of BoC speech, as virus fears climb

 (Corrects 7th paragraph to say weakest level was 1.3225, not
1.3239)
    * Canadian dollar dips 0.1% against the greenback
    * Loonie touches its weakest intraday level since Dec. 11
    * Price of U.S. oil falls 2.3%
    * Canadian bond yields were little changed across the curve

    TORONTO, Jan 30 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened to
a seven-week low against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday as
fears rose that the coronavirus would hurt prospects for the
global economy and as investors awaited a speech by a senior
Bank of Canada official.
    Stocks across the world tumbled as the rising death toll
from the coronavirus forced airlines to cut flights and stores
to close.             
    Canada is a major exporter of commodities, including oil, so
the loonie tends to be sensitive to prospects for global growth.
U.S. crude oil futures        were down 2.3% at $52.09 a barrel,
extending the pullback from this month's high at $65.65.
            
    The slide in oil prices could raise expectations for a Bank
of Canada interest rate cut over the coming months. Last week,
the central bank left its key interest rate unchanged at 1.75%
but said a future cut was possible should a recent slowdown in
domestic growth persist.             
    Chances of a cut by April have climbed to about 60% from
less than 50% after the Jan. 22 rate decision, data from the
overnight index swaps market showed.           
    Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Paul Beaudry, a
potential candidate to lead the central bank when Governor
Stephen Poloz steps down in June             , is due to speak
on Thursday afternoon on monetary policy and financial
vulnerabilities. The bank will release his prepared remarks at
3:15 p.m. (2015 GMT).
    At 9:02 a.m. (1402 GMT), the Canadian dollar          was
trading 0.1% lower at 1.3210 to the greenback, or 75.70 U.S.
cents. The currency touched its weakest intraday level since
Dec. 11 at 1.3225.
    U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Wednesday said he
expected the Canadian parliament to approve a new North American
trade agreement very quickly, paving the way for the trade pact
to take effect soon.                 
    Canadian government bond yields were little changed across
the yield curve after data showed the U.S. economy expanded at a
2.1% annualized rate in the fourth quarter.             
    The 10-year yield, which hit its lowest intraday level since
Oct. 8 at 1.276%, was unchanged at 1.310%.

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
  
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