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Canadian dollar forecasts grow more bullish as economy strengthens: Reuters poll – The Guardian

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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) – Analysts have raised their Canadian dollar forecasts for the coming year, expecting the currency to benefit from faster growth in the domestic economy and a potential reduction by the Bank of Canada of its bond purchases, a Reuters poll showed.

The loonie advanced 1.4% against the U.S. dollar in the first quarter, its fourth straight quarterly gain and the best performance among the G10 currencies.

The median forecast of more than 30 strategists was for the Canadian dollar to rise a further 0.6% over the next three months to 1.25 per U.S. dollar, or 80 U.S. cents.

It was then expected to climb to 1.23 in one year, compared with a 1.25 forecast in March’s poll.

“We expect the Canadian dollar to be a general outperformer among the G10 over the coming year,” said Erik Nelson, a currency strategist at Wells Fargo in New York.

“Canada’s economy looks poised to enjoy one of the strongest growth rebounds this year thanks to a combination of domestic fiscal support, higher commodity prices and spillover from U.S. demand.”

Canada sends about 75% of its exports to the United States, including oil, which has soared about 80% since last November.

Data on Wednesday showed Canada’s economy expanded for a ninth consecutive month in January and most likely grew in February, adding to evidence a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic was stronger than expected.

That could encourage Canada’s central bank to dial back the pace of stimulus.

“The Bank of Canada is likely to be among the first to taper asset purchases, furthering yield support for the loonie,” Nelson said.

Strategists expect the bank to cut this month the amount of bonds it buys each week to C$3 billion from C$4 billion. Canada’s 5-year yield trades about 7 basis points above the equivalent U.S. rate.

The country is facing a potential third wave of COVID-19 infections. Still, vaccine supplies are picking up, which could help narrow the economic advantage of the United States, one of the countries with the fastest rollouts.

“The U.S. economy will likely do well in the short term, but several other countries will be following in its wake soon as vaccination will progress,” said Hendrix Vachon, a senior economist at Desjardins.

(For other stories from the April Reuters foreign exchange poll:)

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Polling by Manjul Paul and Mumal Rathore; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Economy

CANADA STOCKS – TSX ends flat at 19,228.03

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* The Toronto Stock Exchange’s TSX falls 0.00 percent to 19,228.03

* Leading the index were Corus Entertainment Inc <CJRb.TO​>, up 7.0%, Methanex Corp​, up 6.4%, and Canaccord Genuity Group Inc​, higher by 5.5%.

* Lagging shares were Denison Mines Corp​​, down 7.0%, Trillium Therapeutics Inc​, down 7.0%, and Nexgen Energy Ltd​, lower by 5.7%.

* On the TSX 93 issues rose and 128 fell as a 0.7-to-1 ratio favored decliners. There were 26 new highs and no new lows, with total volume of 183.7 million shares.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Toronto-dominion Bank, Nutrien Ltd and Organigram Holdings Inc.

* The TSX’s energy group fell 1.61 points, or 1.4%, while the financials sector climbed 0.67 points, or 0.2%.

* West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 0.44%, or $0.26, to $59.34 a barrel. Brent crude  fell 0.24%, or $0.15, to $63.05 [O/R]

* The TSX is up 10.3% for the year.

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Canadian dollar outshines G10 peers, boosted by jobs surge

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Canadian dollar

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) – The Canadian dollar advanced against its broadly stronger U.S. counterpart on Friday as data showing the economy added far more jobs than expected in March offset lower oil prices, with the loonie also gaining for the week.

Canada added 303,100 jobs in March, triple analyst expectations, driven by the recovery across sectors hit by shutdowns in December and January to curb the new coronavirus.

“The Canadian economy keeps beating expectations,” said Michael Goshko, corporate risk manager at Western Union Business Solutions. “It seems like the economy is adapting to these closures and restrictions.”

Stronger-than-expected economic growth could pull forward the timing of the first interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada, Goshko said.

The central bank has signaled that its benchmark rate will stay at a record low of 0.25% until 2023. It is due to update its economic forecasts on April 21, when some analysts expect it to cut bond purchases.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.3% higher at 1.2530 to the greenback, or 79.81 U.S. cents, the biggest gain among G10 currencies. For the week, it was also up 0.3%.

Still, speculators have cut their bullish bets on the Canadian dollar to the lowest since December, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed. As of April 6, net long positions had fallen to 2,690 contracts from 6,518 in the prior week.

The price of oil, one of Canada‘s major exports, was pressured by rising supplies from major producers. U.S. crude prices settled 0.5% lower at $59.32 a barrel, while the U.S. dollar gained ground against a basket of major currencies, supported by higher U.S. Treasury yields.

Canadian government bond yields also climbed and the curve steepened, with the 10-year up 4.1 basis points at 1.502%.

 

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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Canadian dollar rebounds from one-week low ahead of jobs data

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Canadian dollar

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) -The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, recovering from a one-week low the day before, as the level of oil prices bolstered the medium-term outlook for the currency and ahead of domestic jobs data on Friday.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.4% higher at 1.2560 to the greenback, or 79.62 U.S. cents. On Wednesday, it touched its weakest intraday level since March 31 at 1.2634.

“We have seen partial retracement from the decline over the last couple of days,” said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets.

“With oil prices where they are – let’s call WCS still at roughly $49 a barrel – I still think CAD has room to strengthen over the medium term and even over a one-week horizon.”

Western Canadian Select (WCS), the heavy blend of oil that Canada produces, trades at a discount to the U.S. benchmark. U.S. crude futures settled 0.3% lower at $59.60 a barrel, but were up nearly 80% since last November.

The S&P 500 closed at a record high as Treasury yields fell following softer-than-anticipated labor market data, while the U.S. dollar fell to a two-week low against a basket of major currencies.

Canada‘s employment report for March, due on Friday, could offer clues on the Bank of Canada‘s policy outlook. The central bank has become more upbeat about prospects for economic growth, while some strategists expect it to cut bond purchases at its next interest rate announcement on April 21.

On a more cautious note for the economy, Ontario, Canada‘s most populous province, initiated a four-week stay-at-home order as it battles a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canadian government bond yields were lower across a flatter curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year fell 3.3 basis points to 1.469%.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith;Editing by Alison Williams and Jonathan Oatis)

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