Canadian dollar steady as oil rallies, trade war fears linger

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

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Monday, holding on to gains from the last two sessions as oil prices rose, while investors worried about a prolonged U.S.-China trade conflict.

At 9:47 a.m. (1347 GMT), the Canadian dollar CAD=D4 was trading nearly unchanged at 1.3220 to the greenback, or 75.64 U.S. cents. The currency, which last Wednesday hit its weakest intraday level in seven weeks at 1.3344, traded in a range of 1.3207 to 1.3250.

The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, gained despite worries about a global economic slowdown and the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, which weighed on global stock markets .WORLD. U.S. crude CLc1 oil futures were up nearly 1% at $55.04 a barrel.

Strategists expect the Canadian dollar to strengthen over the coming year as Canada’s economy stays strong enough to withstand global trade uncertainty, a Reuters poll last week showed.

On Friday, data showed that Canada’s economy shed a net 24,200 jobs in July but that wages for permanent employees - a figure watched closely by the Bank of Canada - rose 4.5% on a year-over-year basis, the largest gain since January 2009.

Speculators have raised their bullish bets on the Canadian dollar, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Reuters calculations showed on Friday. As of Aug. 6, net long positions had increased to 24,166 contracts from 21,722 in the prior week.

Canadian government bond prices were higher across the yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries on Monday. The two-year CA2YT=RR rose 8.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.342% and the 10-year CA10YT=RR was up 40 Canadian cents to yield 1.232%.

Last Wednesday, the 10-year yield touched its lowest intraday level since June 2017 at 1.122%.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Paul Simao