March 11, 2019 / 2:18 PM / 13 days ago

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ firms with oil, adding to gains after jobs boost

    * Canadian dollar rises 0.1 percent against the greenback
    * Price of U.S. oil rises 1.4 percent
    * Canadian bond prices trade mixed across a flatter yield
curve

    TORONTO, March 11 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar edged
higher against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as oil prices
rose, with the currency adding to its advance after domestic
data on Friday showed a bumper jobs gain in February.
    The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, was boosted
by comments from Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih that an
end to OPEC-led supply cuts was unlikely before June and a
report showing a fall in U.S. drilling activity. U.S. crude oil
futures        rose 1.4 percent to $56.84 a barrel.             
    Friday's employment data revealed the third month of
outsized job gains in the last four and, for the first time
since 2012, total Canadian job gains beat U.S. employment
growth.             
    Chances of a Bank of Canada interest rate cut this year
steadied on Monday at less than 20 percent, the overnight index
swaps market indicated. Before the jobs data, they were nearly
40 percent due to a more dovish tone last week from the Bank of
Canada.               
    At 9:56 a.m. (1356 GMT), the Canadian dollar          was
trading 0.1 percent higher at 1.3403 to the greenback, or 74.61
U.S. cents.
    The currency, which on Thursday touched its weakest intraday
level in more than two months at 1.3467, traded in a range of
1.3404 to 1.3440.    
    The modest gain for the loonie came as U.S. data showed
retail sales unexpectedly rose in January but receipts in
December were much weaker than initially thought.             
    Speculators have raised their bearish bets on the Canadian
dollar, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
and Reuters calculations showed on Friday. As of March 5, net
short positions had increased to 40,444 contracts from 39,177 in
the prior week.
    Canadian government bond prices were mixed across a flatter
yield curve, with the two-year            flat to yield 1.653
percent and the benchmark 10-year             rising 10 Canadian
cents to yield 1.753 percent.
    On Friday, the 10-year yield touched its weakest intraday
since June 2017 at 1.732 percent.

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
  
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