The Canadian dollar weakened against the greenback on Thursday as oil prices fell and investors awaited U.S. and domestic jobs data, with the currency retreating from a five-month high reached the day before.
The loonie was trading 0.2% lower at 1.3290 to the greenback, or 75.24 U.S. cents. The currency, which on Wednesday notched its strongest intraday level since Feb. 21 at 1.3229, traded in a range of 1.3243 to 1.3322.
“Everybody is waiting for the double payroll numbers tomorrow morning,” said Simon Côté, managing director, risk management solutions at National Bank Financial.
Canada’s employment report for July is due on Friday. The data could offer additional evidence of economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis after nearly one million jobs were added in June.
Data on Thursday showed that housing sales volumes in the area of Toronto, Canada’s most populous city, soared to a monthly record in July. Sales were up 29.5% compared to the same month in 2019.
With the domestic economy showing signs of healing and commodity prices moving higher, strategists are raising their forecasts for the Canadian dollar, a Reuters poll showed. The currency has rallied more than 10% since March, helped by recent weakness for the U.S. dollar against a basket of major currencies.
“We are reaching levels that are putting the long-term bullish trend of the U.S. dollar under pressure,” Côté said.
Data showing fewer Americans sought jobless benefits last week helped stabilize the U.S. dollar on Thursday but U.S. crude oil futures were weighed by bearish sentiment about fuel demand, settling 0.6% lower. Oil is one of Canada’s major exports.
Canadian government bond yields were lower across a flatter curve, with the 10-year down 4 basis points at 0.463%. Last Friday, it hit its lowest intraday level in nearly five months at 0.412%.
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