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Canadian dollar notches biggest gain in 4 months as investor optimism rises
THE Canadian dollar rallied to a two-week high against its broadly weaker US counterpart on Friday last week as oil prices rose and a deal to end the US government shutdown helped boost stocks.
US President Donald Trump said he and lawmakers agreed to advance a three-week stop-gap spending plan to reopen the government.
This helped boost investor sentiment, which faltered in recent days in the face of revived jitters related to the shutdown and the prolonged US-China tariff spat. Canada runs a current account deficit and exports many commodities, including oil, so its economy could benefit from an improved outlook for the global flow of trade or capital.
"It is a risk-on day," said Michael Greenberg, portfolio manager for Franklin Templeton Multi-Asset Solutions. "Equity markets are up, yields are higher, credit spreads are tightening, so that tends to be a good environment for the CAD as well." The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, rose as political turmoil in Venezuela threatened to tighten crude supply. US crude oil futures settled 1.1 per cent higher at US$53.69 a barrel.
At 4.09 pm (2109 GMT) on Friday, the Canadian dollar was trading 1 per cent higher at 1.3221 to the greenback, or 75.64 US cents, which was its biggest gain since September. The currency touched its strongest level since Jan 11 at 1.3218.
For the week, the loonie rose 0.3 per cent despite weak domestic data that prompted some economists to project that Canada's economy contracted in November.
Chances of another Bank of Canada interest rate hike by the summer have fallen to about 30 per cent from more than 50 per cent at the end of last week.
The US dollar fell to a 10-day low against a basket of currencies as traders' focus shifted to the Federal Reserve's policy meeting next week.
"We still do think that the Bank of Canada and the Fed will likely have the opportunity to raise rates a little bit this year but probably less than they thought they could three months ago," Greenberg said. REUTERS