March 23, 2020 / 1:33 PM / 16 days ago

CANADA FX DEBT-Canadian dollar rises as Fed takes steps to support credit

    * Canadian dollar rises 0.3% against the greenback
    * Price of U.S. oil increases 1.8%
    * Canadian wholesale trade rises 1.8% in January
    * Canadian bond yields fall across a flatter curve

    TORONTO, March 23 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar
strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as the
Federal Reserve announced additional measures to ease the
economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak and domestic data
showed a surprise increase in wholesale trade.
    The Fed took unprecedented steps to support U.S. households
and companies more directly with credit, helping to boost U.S.
stocks.             
    The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, turned
higher, with U.S. crude        prices up 1.8% at $23.03 a
barrel. Oil has been pressured in recent weeks by the demand
destruction caused by the coronavirus pandemic and a price war
between producers Russia and Saudi Arabia..             
    Canadian wholesale trade increased by 1.8% in January from
December on stronger sales in the motor vehicles and motor
vehicle parts and accessories subsector, Statistics Canada said.
Analysts had forecast a 0.2% decrease.             
    At 9:14 a.m. (1314 GMT), the Canadian dollar          was
trading 0.3% higher at 1.4381 to the greenback, or 69.54 U.S.
cents. The currency, which on Thursday hit a four-year low at
1.4669, traded in a range of 1.4337 to 1.4492.
    The Canadian death toll from the coronavirus outbreak jumped
by more than 50% on Sunday, and impatient officials threatened
to punish people refusing to take precautions to fight the
spread of the highly contagious illness.             
    Canada is set to ramp up borrowing as Ottawa's C$27 billion
stimulus package, announced last week to stave off a potential
recession due to the coronavirus outbreak, blows out the fiscal
deficit, market strategists said.             
    Canadian bond yields fell across a flatter yield curve in
sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year yield fell 6.9 basis
points at 0.795%.

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith
Editing by Nick Zieminski)
  
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