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The Canadian dollar CADUSD strengthened to its highest level in nearly two months against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday as oil prices rose and investors took in stride data showing U.S. inflation rose strongly in December.

The loonie was trading 0.4 per cent higher at 1.2518 to the greenback, or 79.88 U.S. cents, after touching its strongest intraday level since Nov. 16 at 1.2513.

U.S. stock index futures extended gains and the U.S. dollar lost ground against a basket of major currencies after consumer prices data came largely in line with expectations, easing some concern about faster-than-expected policy tightening by the Federal Reserve.

It follows gains for Wall Street on Tuesday as Fed Chair Jerome Powell said it may take several months to make a decision on running down the central bank’s $9-trillion balance sheet.

The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, added to recent gains on tight supply and easing concerns about the potential hit to demand from the Omicron coronavirus variant. U.S. crude prices were up nearly 1 per cent at $82.01 a barrel.

On Tuesday, the Canadian dollar broke the neckline of a head-and-shoulders trend reversal pattern at about 1.2600, which was seen by some traders as a bullish signal for the currency.

Quebec, Canada’s second most populous province, is planning to force adults refusing to get COVID-19 vaccinated to pay a “health contribution” in a move likely to spur a debate about individual rights and social responsibility.

Canadian government bond yields were mixed across the curve, with the 10-year down about half a basis point at 1.696 per cent. On Monday, it touched its highest level in more than six weeks at 1.753 per cent.

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