The Canadian dollar strengthened to an 11-day high against its U.S. counterpart on Friday as the Bank of Canada’s willingness to keep interest rates on hold in the face of economic uncertainty helped “anchor” the currency.
The Bank of Canada has showed no appetite for cutting interest rates amid steady domestic activity, even as other central banks, including the Federal Reserve, have eased this year.
“In the absence of a major negative shock coming from trade, or anything like that, we know that the Bank of Canada is not in a rush to ease policy,” said Mazen Issa, a senior FX strategist at TD Securities. “I think that helps to provide an anchor.”
Uncertainty around global trade is keeping the loonie from making further gains, Issa said.
U.S. stocks fell after news the Trump administration was considering delisting Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges and limiting U.S. investments in China.
At 4:10 p.m. (2010 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.2% higher at 1.3243 to the greenback, or 75.51 U.S. cents. The currency, which was up 0.1% for the week, touched its strongest intraday level since Sept. 16 at 1.3214.
The gain for the loonie on Friday came as the government of Alberta announced plans to ease oil curtailments. Oil is one of Canada’s biggest exports so the steady erosion of curtailments since the start of the year could improve prospects for the economy.
Oil prices fell and posted a weekly loss on a faster-than-expected recovery in Saudi output, while investors also worried about global crude demand amid slowing Chinese economic growth. U.S. crude oil futures settled 0.9% lower at $55.91 a barrel.
Meanwhile, speculators have slashed their bullish bets on the Canadian dollar to the lowest since June, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Reuters calculations showed. As of Sept. 24, net long positions had fallen to 4,592 contracts from 19,823 in the prior week.
Canadian government bond prices were little changed across the yield curve, with the two-year flat to yield 1.575% and the 10-year rising 2 Canadian cents to yield 1.357%.
On Wednesday, the 10-year yield touched its lowest intraday level in more than two weeks at 1.289%.
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