The Canadian dollar edged lower against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday as oil prices fell and data showed a widening in Canada’s current account deficit, but the loonie stayed within reach of a 2-1/2-month high.
The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, fell as the market awaited confirmation of industry data that showed a surprise increase in U.S. crude stocks. U.S. crude prices were down 0.6 per cent at $32.61 a barrel.
Canada’s current account deficit widened to $11.1 billion in the first quarter from a revised $9.3 billion deficit in the fourth quarter, on a higher trade in goods and services deficit, Statistics Canada said.
A wider current account deficit could leave the loonie more sensitive to moves in the global flow of capital.
Shares globally rose as businesses returning to work and a 750 billion euro EU stimulus plan outweighed rising U.S.-China tensions.
The Canadian dollar was trading 0.1 per cent lower at 1.3765 to the greenback, or 72.65 U.S. cents. The loonie, which on Wednesday touched its strongest in two-and-a-half months at 1.3723, traded in a range of 1.3734 to 1.3789.
Canada’s GDP report for the first quarter is due on Friday which could help guide expectations for next week’s Bank of Canada interest rate decision, when Tiff Macklem will be in place as the central bank’s new governor.
Canadian government bond yields were mixed across the curve, with the 10-year up less than a basis point at 0.554 per cent.
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