The Canadian dollar rose against the greenback on Wednesday as oil prices rebounded and domestic data showed a surprise jump in housing starts, with the loonie recovering from an earlier three-week low ahead of a Bank of Canada interest rate decision.
The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, clawed back some of the losses it sustained in the previous session, but a rebound in COVID-19 cases in some countries undermined hopes for a steady recovery in global demand.
U.S. crude prices were up 1.8 per cent at $37.43 a barrel, while global equity markets shrugged off heavy losses for U.S. tech stocks and a major drugmaker delaying testing of a coronavirus vaccine.
Canadian housing starts rose 6.9 per cent in August compared with the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 262,396 units. Economists had expected starts to fall to 220,000.
The Canadian dollar was trading 0.2 per cent higher at 1.3200 to the greenback, or 75.76 U.S. cents. The currency hit its weakest intraday level since Aug. 17 at 1.3259.
The Bank of Canada is expected to leave its benchmark interest rate on hold at 0.25 per cent on Wednesday and at least until the end of 2022, a Reuters poll showed, despite data suggesting to some analysts that the economy is recovering faster than the central bank expected. The central bank’s rate decision is due at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT).
Canadian province British Columbia on Tuesday ordered the closure of all nightclubs, and Ontario delayed an easing of remaining restrictions imposed to fight the coronavirus pandemic, as Canada reported a spike in new COVID-19 cases.
Canadian government bond yields were mixed across a steeper curve on Wednesday, with the 10-year nearly unchanged at 0.567 per cent.
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