July 15, 2019 / 2:26 PM / 4 months ago

CANADA FX DEBT-Loonie steadies near 9-month high as home sales dip

    * Canadian home sales fall 0.2% in June
    * Price of U.S. oil rises 0.3%
    * Canadian bond prices edge higher across much of the yield
curve

    TORONTO, July 15 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little
changed against its U.S. counterpart on Monday, holding near
Friday's nine-month high, as domestic data showed that housing
sales dipped for the first time in four months.
    Resales of Canadian homes fell 0.2% in June from the
previous month, the Canadian Real Estate Association said on
Monday in the first decline reported since home sales plunged in
February. The industry group said actual sales, not seasonally
adjusted, rose 0.3% from a year earlier.             
    Tightening of mortgage rules and interest rate hikes by the
Bank of Canada had weighed on Canada's once red-hot housing
market. But Canadian borrowers have benefited in recent months
from a slide in global bond yields.
    Last week, the Bank of Canada said the housing market is
stabilizing, as it left its benchmark interest rate steady at
1.75% and made clear it had no intention of easing monetary
policy.             
    The central bank's stance has contrasted with dovish
guidance last week from the U.S. Federal Reserve. Canada's
inflation report for June is due on Wednesday, which could offer
further clues on the outlook for Canadian interest rates.
    At 10:11 a.m. (1411 GMT), the Canadian dollar          was
trading nearly unchanged at 1.3033 to the greenback, or 76.73
U.S. cents. The currency, which on Friday touched its strongest
intraday level since Oct. 25 at 1.3018, traded in a range of
1.3022 to 1.3042.
    Speculators have raised bullish bets on the currency, data
from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Reuters
calculations showed on Friday. As of July 9, net long positions
rose to 9,226 contracts from 6,293 contracts in the prior week.
            
    The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, rose on
Monday as Chinese industrial output and retail data topped
expectations, but gains were capped by overall figures showing
the country's slowest quarterly economic growth in decades. U.S.
crude oil futures        were up 0.3% at $60.37 a barrel.
            
    Canadian government bond prices were higher across the yield
curve, with the two-year            up 2.5 Canadian cents to
yield 1.568% and the 10-year             rising 20 Canadian
cents to yield 1.588%.
    On Friday, the 10-year yield touched a seven-week high at
1.649%.

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
  
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