C$ gains as investors sell greenbacks on 'downbeat' Fed

FILE PHOTO: A Canadian dollar coin, commonly known as the "Loonie", is pictured in this illustration picture taken in Toronto, January 23, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar rose against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve’s dovish stance weighed broadly on the greenback and the Ontario government paved the way for most businesses in Canada’s most populous city to reopen.

The U.S. dollar fell to a two-year low as the Fed repeated a pledge to use its “full range of tools” to support the economy for as long as it takes to recover from fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The market’s immediate response to a downbeat and cautious Federal Reserve policy announcement was to continue selling U.S. dollars versus major currencies,” said Michael Goshko, corporate risk manager at Western Union Business Solutions.

Higher prices for oil, one of Canada's major exports, added to support for the loonie. U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 settled up 0.6% at $41.27 a barrel after a steep drop in U.S. crude inventories, but another record day for coronavirus cases worldwide kept gains in check.

The Canadian dollar CAD= was trading 0.2% higher at 1.3344 to the U.S. dollar, or 74.94 U.S. cents. The currency, which on Tuesday touched its strongest intraday level in nearly seven weeks at 1.3327, traded in a range of 1.3333 to 1.3387.

Toronto will move into the third stage of its economic reopening on Friday, the Ontario provincial government announced, after a four-month lockdown.

Canada’s GDP report for May is due on Friday. It is expected to show some recovery in the economy after a sharp contraction in April.

Canadian government bond yields were higher across the curve on Wednesday, with the 10-year CA10YT=RR up more than one basis point at 0.489%. On Tuesday, it hit its lowest intraday level since June 15 at 0.472%.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Tom Brown