February 7, 2018 / 9:48 PM / 8 months ago

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ hits near four-week low as oil falls, greenback rallies

 (Adds portfolio manager quotes and details throughout; updates
prices)
    * Canadian dollar at C$1.2566, or 79.58 U.S. cents
    * Loonie touches its weakest since Jan. 11 at C$1.2577
    * The price of oil falls 2.5 percent
    * Bond prices lower across the yield curve

    By Fergal Smith
    TORONTO, Feb 7 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened to a
nearly four-week low against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday
as oil prices fell and the greenback broadly climbed, while a
pipeline feud between two provinces threatened to undermine
investor confidence.
    At 4 p.m. EST (2100 GMT), the Canadian dollar          was
trading 0.6 percent lower at C$1.2566 to the greenback, or 79.58
U.S. cents.
    The currency's strongest level of the session was C$1.2491,
while it touched its weakest since Jan. 11 at C$1.2577.
    The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, fell to a
one-month low after U.S. data showed a build-up in inventories
and record high crude production.             
    U.S. crude oil futures        settled 2.5 percent lower at
$61.79 a barrel.
    The U.S. dollar rose against most major currencies as a
choppy session on Wall Street supported the greenback's
safe-haven allure.             
    The loonie has retreated 2.4 percent since stocks began to
head sharply lower on Friday. One week ago, the currency touched
its strongest in more than four months at C$1.2250.
    "When we were trading around C$1.22, C$1.23, it was a little
bit too strong," said Hosen Marjaee, senior managing director,
Canadian Fixed Income at Manulife Asset Management. "People were
not paying attention to the NAFTA (North American Free Trade
Agreement) risk and potential risk in the housing market, even
the issues with respect to pipelines."
    Canada's oil-rich province of Alberta struck back at
neighboring British Columbia on Tuesday, halting purchases of
that province's wines in retaliation for its potentially holding
up expansion of a crude pipeline.             
    The dispute between two major provinces could indicate to
foreign investors that "Canada is very environmentally friendly
but not necessarily very business friendly," Marjaee said.   
    In domestic data, the value of building permits jumped by
4.8 percent in December from November, Statistics Canada said.
Analysts had expected an increase of 2.0 percent.             
    Canadian government bond prices were lower across the yield
curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries after the U.S. Treasury
Department sold new 10-year notes to soft demand and the U.S.
Senate reached a budget deal, boosting expectations of stronger
economic growth.             
    The two-year            fell 2 Canadian cents to yield 1.85
percent and the 10-year             declined 10 Canadian cents
to yield 2.377 percent.
    Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins on
Thursday will give a speech, which could offer clues on the
outlook for interest rates. Canada's employment report for
January is due on Friday.

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Sandra Maler)
  
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