Canadian dollar flat vs weaker U.S dollar, GDP data eyed

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against a broadly weaker U.S. currency on Friday and gained 0.4 percent against the greenback on the week, but could face pressure next week if tepid retail sales data is any indication of broader economic health.

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 currency appeared to shrug off a sharp miss on September retail sales data released on Thursday, but worries about the domestic economy’s health could also have been masked by oil price gains, a lack of liquidity over the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday and a broader greenback fall, an analyst said.

“Retail sales was awful, and the Canadian dollar is only a tiny bit lower than where it was beforehand,” said Adam Button, currency analyst at ForexLive in Montreal. “That either speaks to the resilience of the currency or a lack of interest in the market, but the Bank of Canada is certainly paying attention.”

He said the next big test for the currency will come at the end of the next week, when gross domestic product data for the third quarter and monthly employment numbers are due.

Economists are expecting the Canadian economy to have grown 1.6 percent in the third quarter, according to a Reuters poll.

At 4 p.m. (2100 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.2714 to the greenback, or 78.66 U.S. cents, essentially unchanged from Thursday’s close.

The Canadian dollar was lower against the euro and British pound but gained against the Japanese yen.

It gained 0.4 percent this week against the currency of the United States, its primary trading partner.

The currency’s strongest level of the session was C$1.2694, while its weakest level was C$1.2747.

Prices for oil, a major Canadian export, hit a two-year high as the shutdown of a pipeline between Canada and the United States hit supply. [O/R]

U.S. crude prices were up 1.6 percent at $58.97 a barrel, while Brent crude added 0.3 percent to $63.73.

Canadian government bond prices were mixed across a flatter yield curve, with the two-year price down half a Canadian cent to yield 1.440 percent and the benchmark 10-year up 4 Canadian cents to yield 1.889 percent.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Jonathan Oatis