TORONTO The Canadian dollar closed stronger on Monday, recovering after touching its lowest level in nearly three weeks, mirroring gains in the euro and commodities even as many investors remain bearish on the prospects for riskier assets.
The euro rallied from a 16-month low against the U.S. dollar as participants pared bearish bets on the single currency ahead of key European events this week, with the Canadian dollar getting caught up in the rebound.
"The market is long U.S. dollars and to a fairly significant amount ... sometimes when it's a crowded trading environment we see some position squaring," said Jack Spitz, managing director of foreign exchange at National Bank Financial.
"I wouldn't look at anything domestically-driven in terms of why the Canadian dollar is rallying today."
Canada's currency ended the North American session at C$1.0229 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.76 U.S. cents, up from Friday's North American finish at C$1.0270 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.37 U.S. cents.
The currency at one point slid to C$1.0320, or 96.90 U.S. cents, its weakest level since December 20.
Economic data out on Monday included a report showing the value of Canadian building permits declined by 3.6 percent in November, largely as expected, after an 11.6 percent rise in October.
Separately, the Bank of Canada's winter business survey showed Canadian companies plan to hire more staff in the coming year, particularly in the West, but an increasing number of firms are pessimistic about the rate of sales growth.
Neither report caused a significant move in the currency, which has been taking much of its direction from events in Europe.
Canadian bond prices were little changed, much like their U.S. counterparts, which saw some weakness in the long end ahead of auctions later this week.
Canada's two-year government bond fell 3 Canadian cents to yield 0.95 percent. The 10-year bond fell 17 Canadian cents to yield 1.96 percent.
(Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)