The Canadian dollar weakened to approach a one-year low against its U.S. counterpart on Friday as a trade spat between the U.S. and China intensified and domestic data showed a surprise drop in manufacturing sales.
Canadian manufacturing sales fell 1.3 per cent in April from March as maintenance shutdowns cut output at oil refineries, Statistics Canada data indicated. Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a 0.6 per cent increase.
Separate data from the Canadian Real Estate Association showed that resales of Canadian homes fell 0.1 per cent in May from April to the lowest level in more than five years.
Global stocks fell after the United States announced tariffs on $50-billion worth of Chinese goods, spurring a promise of immediate and equivalent retaliation from Beijing.
Canada runs a current account deficit, so its currency tends to weaken when risk appetite sours. The country has its own trade feud with the United States and is also in slow-moving talks with the U.S. and Mexico to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Canada agreed with the United States on Thursday that talks to update NAFTA should continue although they did not set a date for the next round, a senior official said in remarks casting further doubt on the chances of a deal this year.
At 9:25 a.m. EDT, the Canadian dollar was trading 0.4 per cent lower at $1.3159 to the greenback, or 75.99 U.S. cents. The currency touched its weakest level since June 28, 2017 at $1.3176.
The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, fell ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna next week as two of the world’s biggest producers, Saudi Arabia and Russia, indicated they were prepared to increase output.
U.S. crude prices were down 0.4 per cent at $66.63 a barrel.
Foreign investment in Canadian securities reached a five-month high in April as non-residents targeted the bond market after four straight months of divestment, Statistics Canada said. Outsiders bought a net $9.13 billion of securities in April, while Canadian investors reduced their holdings of foreign securities by a net $652-million.
Canadian government bond prices were higher across a flatter yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The two-year rose 5.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.897 per cent and the 10-year climbed 37 Canadian cents to yield 2.227 per cent.