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C$ posts biggest gain in two months on bargain-hunting

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The Canadian dollar rallied on Monday by the most in two months against its U.S. counterpart, as investors took advantage of Friday’s selloff following weak domestic jobs data to buy the currency at cheaper levels.

The loonie was trading 0.9% higher at 1.2660 to the greenback, or 78.99 U.S. cents, the biggest gain among G10 currencies and its largest advance since Dec. 7, 2021.

“I think CAD got oversold last week and today it is just recovering a bit,” said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York.

“After a weekend to cool off, people have come back in today to bargain hunt. CAD doesn’t belong at this weak of a level against EUR, GBP and JPY.”

Against the euro, the loonie was also up 0.9% as European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde calmed market expectations of a quick hike in interest rates.

On Friday, the loonie touched its weakest intraday level since Jan. 28 at 1.2787 per U.S. dollar as data showed the Canadian economy losing more jobs than expected in January.

Still, money markets expect the Bank of Canada to begin hiking interest rates at its next policy announcement on March 2 and to raise borrowing costs a total of six times this year.

BoC Governor Tiff Macklem is due to speak on Wednesday on the evolution of Canadian business, which could offer further clues on the interest rate outlook.

The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, fell back from seven-year highs on faint signs of progress in nuclear talks between the United States and Iran.

U.S. crude prices settled down 1.1% at $91.32 a barrel.

Canadian government bond yields eased across the curve, tracking the move in U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year was down 2.1 basis points at 1.835%.

 

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Paul Simao)

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