The Canadian dollar strengthened by the most in four years against its U.S. counterpart on Friday as risk aversion eased and oil held onto much of the previous day’s rally, but the loonie was set to fall by more than 3% for the week.
The U.S. dollar pulled back against a basket of major currencies and stocks globally rose for a second straight session, as a wave of fiscal and monetary stimulus tempted investors back into equity markets after days of selling on signs the world was headed into a deep, coronavirus-driven recession.
U.S. crude oil futures were down 2.85% at $24.50 a barrel. Oil rose 24% on Thursday, helped by hopes that the United States would intervene in the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
At 9:02 a.m. (1302 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading 1.7% higher at 1.4268 to the greenback, or 70.09 U.S. cents, its biggest advance since March 2016. The currency, which on Thursday hit a four-year low at 1.4669, traded in a range of 1.4150 to 1.4538.
For the week, the loonie was on track to decline 3.3%, which would be its biggest decline since January 2015.
Canadian retail sales grew by 0.4% in January from December at C$51.97 billion on higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations, Statistics Canada said. Analysts had forecast a 0.3% increase.
Canadian bond yields fell across a flatter yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year yield was down 10.5 basis points at 0.893%.
Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.