The Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Friday as oil prices fell and the risk of another economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic crimped risk appetite, with the loonie set to post its biggest weekly decline in four months.
The safe-haven U.S. dollar climbed against a basket of major currencies as rising coronavirus infections in Europe and uncertainty surrounding the upcoming U.S. elections turned markets cautious.
Global equity markets see-sawed after a sharp slide this week, while the price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, was pressured by mounting worries about the impact of rising infections on fuel demand and the likely return of exports from Libya.
U.S. crude prices were down 0.6% at $40.08 a barrel, while the Canadian dollar was trading 0.1% lower at 1.3375 to the greenback, or 74.77 U.S. cents. The currency, which hit a seven-week low of 1.3417 on Thursday, traded in a range of 1.3338 to 1.3389.
For the week, the loonie was down 1.3%. That would be its biggest decline since May and third consecutive weekly decline.
Canada is also seeing a rise in coronavirus cases. The Canadian government this week promised major new investments and policy initiatives to help the country recover from the pandemic, saying now was not the time for austerity.
Canadian government bond yields were lower across much of the curve, with the 10-year down 1.1 basis points at 0.546%.
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