The Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, giving back some of the previous day’s gains as domestic housing data showed signs of economic damage from the coronavirus outbreak.
Canadian housing starts fell 7.3 per cent in March from the previous month in a sign that the coronavirus outbreak began to hit residential construction activity, data from the national housing agency showed.
The value of Canadian building permits has likely fallen 23.2 per cent year-over-year in March, Statistics Canada said in a preliminary flash estimate.
At 9:24 a.m., the Canadian dollar was trading 0.2 per cent lower at 1.4024 to the greenback, or 71.31 U.S. cents. The currency, which touched on Tuesday an 11-day high at 1.3941, traded in an range of 1.3988 to 1.4081.
A rebound in world stock markets lost some momentum as the coronavirus death toll mounted and euro zone finance ministers failed to agree a rescue package to help economies recover from the impact of the outbreak.
Canada will keep up efforts to persuade the United States not to block the export of medical supplies to fight the coronavirus, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday, while the energy-producing province of Alberta warned of an economic disaster.
Oil, one of Canada’s major exports, was supported by hopes that a meeting between OPEC members and allied producers on Thursday will trigger output cuts to shore up prices that have collapsed due to the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. crude prices were up 2.5 per cent at $24.23 a barrel.
Canadian government bond yields were mixed across the curve, with the 10-year nearly unchanged at 0.819 per cent.
Canada’s jobs report for March is due on Friday.
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