The Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Friday as oil prices fell and domestic data showed a jump in retail sales that was about in line with expectations, but the loonie stayed on track for its third straight weekly advance.
Canadian retail sales grew by 23.7 per cent in June from May on higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and clothing retailers, Statistics Canada said. But a flash estimate suggested some loss of momentum in July, with sales estimated to rise 0.7 per cent.
Stocks globally fell for a third straight day as European purchasing managers’ index releases painted a muted economic outlook, while U.S. crude oil futures were down nearly 2 per cent at $41.97 a barrel. Oil is one of Canada’s major exports.
The Canadian dollar was trading 0.2 per cent lower at 1.3214 to the greenback, or 75.68 U.S. cents. The currency, which on Wednesday posted its strongest intraday level in nearly seven months at 1.3131, traded in a range of 1.3159 to 1.3227.
For the week, the loonie was up 0.4 per cent.
Canada is extending an emergency COVID-19 income-support program by four weeks to the end of September, and beginning on Sept. 27 it will offer unemployment benefits to hundreds of thousands of people who would not normally qualify, a senior official said on Thursday.
The total cost of the new measures is estimated at about C$37 billion over the next year. The budget deficit this fiscal year is forecast to hit C$343.2 billion, which would be the largest shortfall since World War Two.
Canadian government bond yields were lower across much of a flatter curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries on Friday. The 10-year yield fell 2.2 basis points to 0.540 per cent, its lowest since Aug. 11.
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