The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, recovering from a six-week low it hit the day before as Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz doused expectations for an interest rate cut as soon as next month.
In remarks at a fireside chat organized by the Ontario Securities Commission in Toronto, Poloz said he thought Canada’s monetary conditions were about right given the current economic situation that is being challenged by global trade tensions.
“The Poloz comments were quite powerful,” said Alvise Marino, a foreign exchange strategist at Credit Suisse in New York. “It was a little bit of a surprise given that Wilkins’ comments from Tuesday had been interpreted in a dovish direction.”
On Tuesday, BoC Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins said the global economy was facing immense challenges that could spill over into Canada and that the central bank had room to move interest rates lower.
The bank in October left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.75% but left the door open to a possible cut over the coming months.
Chances of a rate cut at the bank’s next policy meeting on Dec. 4 fell to about 10% from more than 20% on Wednesday, data from the overnight index swaps market showed.
At 4:01 p.m. (2101 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.2% higher at 1.3283 to the greenback, or 75.28 U.S. cents. The currency, which hit a near six-week low on Wednesday at 1.3328, traded in a range of 1.3269 to 1.3325.
The gain for the loonie came as U.S. House Democrats said they ironed out some differences with the Trump administration about a trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, and that Congress could still vote on the deal - one of President Donald Trump’s top priorities - this year.
Canada sends about 75% of its exports to the United States, including oil.
U.S. crude oil futures rose 2.4% to $58.35 a barrel, boosted by a Reuters report that OPEC and its allies are likely to extend output cuts until mid-2020 and positive news on U.S.- China trade negotiations.
Canadian government bond prices were lower across the yield curve, with the 10-year falling 39 Canadian cents to yield 1.474%. On Wednesday, the 10-year yield hit its lowest intraday level in nearly six weeks at 1.394%.
Canadian retail sales data is due on Friday.
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