* C$ at C$1.0479 vs US$, or 95.43 U.S. cents
* U.S. slashes Q1 growth estimate
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, June 26 The Canadian dollar
strengthened against the U.S. currency on Wednesday, helped by
higher oil prices and an early dip in the greenback following
weaker-than-expected U.S. first-quarter growth data.
Oil edged higher on Wednesday, shaking off earlier losses
following a large build up in U.S. gasoline inventories, buoyed
by gains in the stock market and heavy spread trading.
Canada is a major oil exporter and typically benefits from
firmer energy prices.
"We're seeing oil prices trading a little bit higher here,
that's perhaps given the Canadian dollar a little bit of
support," said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at TD
The Canadian dollar ended the session trading at
C$1.0479 against the greenback, or 95.43 U.S. cents. This was
stronger than Tuesday's North American finish at C$1.0509, or
95.16 U.S. cents.
The Canadian dollar started the North American session
stronger, as the greenback initially slipped against some major
currencies following the unexpectedly weak revision to U.S.
First-quarter U.S. gross domestic product expanded at a 1.8
percent annual rate in the United States. Economists polled by
Reuters had expected growth to remain unrevised at 2.4 percent.
"It's really being buffeted around by big dollar moves again
in the absence of any really significant local moves," said Adam
Cole, global head of currency strategy at RBC Capital Markets.
"Markets are just so dominated by the U.S. dollar view at
the moment. Nothing much else is really getting a look in."
But the impact of the GDP data was fleeting. TD's Osborne
said the revision to U.S. data should not derail a broader
appreciation in the greenback, which has gained nearly 3 percent
against the loonie in the past week.
Reassuring comments by European Central Bank chief Mario
Draghi also helped overall sentiment, as he said monetary policy
will remain accommodative.
Canadian government debt prices stronger. The two-year bond
rose 7 Canadian cents to yield 1.228 percent. The
benchmark 10-year bond rose 31 Canadian cents to
yield 2.502 percent.