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Canadian dollar gains as vaccine progress boosts risk appetite

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as promising results from a COVID-19 vaccine trial boosted investor sentiment and domestic data showed manufacturing sales climbing in September.

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

The Canadian dollar CAD= traded 0.3% higher at 1.3097 to the greenback, or 76.35 U.S. cents, extending its recovery from an eight-day low intraday on Friday at 1.3172.

Investors are betting that “eventually the economy will come back. We aren’t going to be in COVID forever,” said Darren Richardson, chief operating officer at Richardson International Currency Exchange.

Canada runs a current account deficit and is a major producer of commodities, including oil, so the loonie tends to be sensitive to the global flow of trade and capital.

Wall Street stocks .SPX rallied after Moderna Inc MRNA.O said its experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on interim data from a late-stage trial. It was the second U.S. company in a week to report positive results from a trial.

U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 settled 3% higher at $41.34 a barrel.

The loonie clawed back some of last week’s decline, which happened as global coronavirus cases climbed.

The loonie is likely to trade between 1.30 and 1.34 per U.S. dollar until a vaccine is distributed in large-scale or there is more economic stimulus from the United States, Richardson said.

Canadian factory sales increased by 1.5% in September from August on higher sales in the wood industry, as well as the chemical industry, Statistics Canada said.

Data from the Canadian Real Estate Association showed home sales fell 0.7% in October from September, edging back from the previous month’s all-time record.

Canadian government bond yields were mixed across a steeper curve, with the 10-year yield CA10YT=RR up nearly one basis point at 0.737%.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Richard Chang

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