The Canadian dollar weakened for a fifth straight day against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday to hit a near one-year low as comments by Canada’s foreign minister revealed no breakthrough in talks to revamp the NAFTA trade pact.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland reiterated Canada’s opposition to the U.S. push for a sunset clause that would allow any member to quit the North American free-trade agreement after five years.
“The narrative hasn’t changed at all and because of that lack of change I think it’s easy to push for a weaker Canadian dollar at this time,” said Amo Sahota, director at Klarity FX in San Francisco.
Canada sends about 75 per cent of its exports to the United States, so its economy could suffer if NAFTA is scrapped.
Investors are betting that Bank of Canada interest rate hikes will peak before they reach the central bank’s estimate of neutral, as rising trade tensions and high domestic debt loads threaten to slow the growth of the country’s economy.
At 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.2 per cent lower at $1.3315 to the greenback, or 75.10 U.S. cents. The currency touched its weakest since June 22, 2017, at $1.3321.
The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, was supported by a drop in domestic inventories. U.S. crude oil futures rose 1.3 per cent to US$66.22 a barrel.
Canadian government bond prices were mixed across the yield curve, with the two-year flat to yield 1.846 per cent and the 10-year falling 18 Canadian cents to yield 2.182 per cent.
The 2-year yield fell 2.1 basis points further through its U.S. equivalent to a spread of -72.0 basis points, its widest since March, 2007.
Canadian inflation data for May and the April retail sales report are due out on Friday