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Feb 15, 2018

Loonie edges higher as investors bet on capital flow shift

Rosenberg: We'll need the loonie as a form of stimulus this year

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The Canadian dollar edged higher against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday to hold near an earlier 10-day high, but the loonie lost ground against some other major currencies as investors bet on a shift in global capital flows.

At 4 p.m. ET, the Canadian dollar was trading 0.1 per cent higher at $1.2485 to the greenback, or 80.10 U.S. cents. The currency touched its strongest level since Feb. 5 at $1.2466.

Against the euro, it hit its weakest intraday since February 2016 at $1.5644.

"Capital is moving out of the Americas," said Scott Lampard, head of global markets at HSBC Bank Canada. "While Canada is appreciating versus the U.S. dollar, it is underperforming some of the other regions that are actually seeing some major (capital) inflows."

The U.S. dollar fell across the board, hitting a 15-month low against the yen, as negative sentiment around the U.S. currency outweighed a rise in 10-year Treasury yields to their highest levels in four years.

"The general view seems to be that valuations are better in Europe, they are better in emerging markets," Lampard said.

The weaker greenback helped boost the price of oil, one of Canada's major exports. U.S. crude oil futures settled 1.2 per cent higher at US$61.34 a barrel.

The Bank of Canada's cautious approach to further rate hikes does not mean rates will stay low forever, as policymakers also have to weigh inflationary pressures, Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Lawrence Schembri said.

Canadian government bond prices were little changed across the yield curve, with the five-year flat to yield 2.154 per cent and the 10-year rising 1 cent to yield 2.373 percent.

The five-year yield posted its highest intraday since September 2013 at 2.173 percent.

Resales of Canadian homes dropped 14.5 per cent in January from December to the lowest monthly level in three years as tighter mortgage rules doused demand, the Canadian Real Estate Association said.

Canada added 10,700 jobs in January, driven by hiring in construction and leisure and hospitality, according to a report from ADP.

The country's manufacturing sales report for December is due on Friday.

 

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