The Canadian dollar steadied against a broadly stronger U.S. counterpart on Friday as data showed growth in Canada’s economy, with the loonie holding near a three-year high and on track to advance in April, a seasonally strong month for the currency.
The Canadian economy grew by 0.4 per cent in February as retail trade rebounded after lockdown measures were eased across parts of the country, Statistics Canada said. A flash estimate showed GDP jumping 0.9 per cent in March.
The data supported the Bank of Canada’s more hawkish stance. Last week, the central bank signaled that it could start hiking rates next year and cut the pace of its bond purchases.
The Canadian dollar was trading nearly unchanged at 1.2275 to the greenback, or 81.47 U.S. cents. It touched its strongest intraday level since February 2018 at 1.2266.
For the month, the loonie was on track to gain 2.3 per cent. It has advanced in eight of the last 10 Aprils.
The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, was pressured by wider lockdowns in India and Brazil to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. crude prices fell 2.1 per cent to $63.63 a barrel, while the U.S. dollar was on course to narrowly avoid a fourth straight weekly decline against a basket of major peers, as analysts said profit-taking on dollar short positions was helping lift the currency.
Canadian government bond yields eased across the curve, with the 10-year down nearly one basis points at 1.557 per cent. On Thursday, it touched its highest intraday in more than four weeks at 1.611 per cent.
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