The Canadian dollar CADUSD weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, pulling back from its highest level in 2-1/2 months, as investors turned attention to U.S. jobs data that could offer clues on the Federal Reserve policy outlook.
The loonie was trading 0.2% lower at 1.3320 to the greenback, or 75.08 U.S. cents, after earlier touching its strongest since Nov. 16 at 1.3263.
“We’ve seen the U.S. dollar strengthen in the last couple of hours as traders square up positions before tomorrow’s U.S. employment data,” said Darren Richardson, chief operating officer at Richardson International Currency Exchange Inc.
The data “will dictate how the Fed will continue on its path of rate hikes,” Richardson added.
Economists expect that data on Friday will show the U.S. economy adding 185,000 jobs in January, which would be a smaller increase than in December.
The U.S. dollar rallied against a basket of major currencies as the European Central Bank and the Bank of England joined the Federal Reserve in laying the groundwork for a pause in their interest rate hiking campaigns.
The Bank of Canada has already signaled a pause, after raising its benchmark rate last week to a 15-year high of 4.50%.
The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, slipped as looming sanctions on Russian oil products added to uncertainty over supply. U.S. crude prices settled 0.7% lower at $75.88 a barrel.
In domestic data, the value of building permits fell by 7.3% in December compared to the previous month after jumping 14.9% in November.
Canadian government bond yields fell across the curve, tracking the move in U.S. Treasuries.
The 10-year touched its lowest since Jan. 19 at 2.774% before recovering to 2.817%, down 4 basis points on the day.