The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday along with gains for stocks and higher oil prices, with the currency fluctuating after domestic data showed a record level of job losses.
At 9:36 a.m., the Canadian dollar was trading 0.3 per cent higher at 1.3968 to the greenback, or 71.59 U.S. cents. The currency, which on Tuesday touched an 11-day high at 1.3941, traded in a range of 1.3955 to 1.4076.
Canada shed one million jobs in March while the unemployment rate soared to 7.8 per cent, official data showed, as the coronavirus outbreak forced the closure of non-essential businesses.
Ottawa is rolling out more than $200 billion in measures to support the economy, while the Bank of Canada has slashed interest rates to 0.25 per cent and has begun quantitative easing, a program of buying government bonds in large-scale.
The U.S. Federal Reserve has also been active. On Thursday, it announced a massive $2.3 trillion program to bolster local governments and businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, which boosted U.S. equity markets .
Canada runs a current account deficit and is a major producer of commodities, including oil, so the loonie tends to be sensitive to the global flow of trade and capital.
U.S. crude prices were up 4.7 per cent at $26.26 a barrel on expectations the world’s leading crude producers will at a meeting later in the day overcome obstacles that have so far prevented a deal to cut output.
Canadian government bond yields were lower across much of the curve, with the 10-year down 1.8 basis points at 0.795 per cent.
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