The Canadian dollar CADUSD gained slightly against its broadly weaker U.S. counterpart on Thursday after the Federal Reserve sent a dovish signal on the pace of interest rate hikes and as oil prices steadied.
The loonie was up 0.1% at 1.3340 to the greenback, or 74.96 U.S. cents, in a quiet North American session with U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving. The currency traded in a range of 1.3317 to 1.3362.
“The USD tone remains defensive,” Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank, said in a note.
The greenback swooped towards a three-month low against a basket of major currencies and world shares touched a two-month high after minutes from the Fed’s latest meeting, released on Wednesday, pointed to a slower pace of U.S. rate rises from next month.
The Bank of Canada has already downshifted the pace of its rate increases but is likely not done yet with tightening. Money markets are pricing in a 25 basis point move at the next policy decision on Dec. 7.
“Resilient growth, sticky inflation and elevated inflation expectations suggest some risk that markets are underpricing December policy hike risks,” Osborne said.
Inflation in Canada remains too strong, and higher interest rates will be needed to cool the overheating economy, BoC Governor Tiff Macklem said in testimony at the House of Commons on Wednesday.
The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, was little changed at about $78 a barrel, holding near two-month lows as the level of a proposed G7 cap on the price of Russian oil raised doubts about how much it would limit supply.
Canadian bond yields eased across the curve along with lower European yields.
The 10-year touched its lowest since Aug. 19 at 2.907% before recovering to 2.929%, down 4.4 basis points on the day.