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Market News Canadian dollar pares earlier gains as risk appetite falls ahead of Fed conference

The Canadian dollar steadied against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, trimming earlier gains as investor appetite for risk decreased ahead of a Federal Reserve central banking conference this week.

U.S. stocks were mixed on the first contraction in the manufacturing sector in nearly a decade and uncertainty about future interest rate cuts.

Oil prices weakened as worries about the global economy weighed. U.S. crude oil futures settled 0.6 per cent lower at $55.35 a barrel.

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Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech on Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, could indicate whether the U.S. central bank will continue to cut interest rates, which could also help guide expectations about the Bank of Canada’s interest rate decision.

“It’s all like a broad turn lower in risk, stocks are lower, crude oil is going lower, and dollar-CAD being sensitive to all of that, is going higher.” said Eric Bregar, director and head of FX strategy at the Exchange Bank of Canada. But “it’s still very much a range trade, waiting for a clarity from Jerome Powell.”

The Canadian dollar was trading nearly unchanged at 1.3296 to the greenback, or 75.21 U.S. cents, at 3:17 p.m. The currency, which lost some ground it gained earlier, was trading in a range of 1.3276 to 1.3315.

Domestic data showed that Canadian wholesale trade increased by 0.6 per cent in June from May. Analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast a 0.3 per cent increase.

Canada’s retail sales data is due on Friday, with a Reuters poll forecasting a 0.1 per cent decrease.

Canadian government bond prices were lower across the yield curve, with the two-year down 9.5 cents to yield 1.458 per cent and the 10-year falling 43 cents to yield 1.267 per cent.

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