C$ rises for third straight week as investors cheer economic recovery

A Canadian dollar coin, commonly known as the "Loonie", is pictured in this illustration picture taken in Toronto, January 23, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA - Tags: BUSINESS)

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against a broadly stronger greenback on Friday as investors rewarded the currency for ongoing signs of economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis, with the loonie advancing for the third straight week.

Canadian retail sales rose by a record 23.7% in June, rising above February levels for the first time since shutdowns tied to the virus, Statistics Canada said.

A staggered reopening from lockdowns, supported by fiscal stimulus, is likely paying off for Canada’s economy, with activity forecast to rebound in the current quarter twice as fast as in the United States, its biggest trading partner by far.

“Canada is doing really well on the COVID-19 compared to the U.S. and Europe,” said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York. “It makes sense you’d see the currency start to rally on both fronts as a result of that.”

The euro EUR= fell as an August batch of business surveys pointed to a stuttering economic recovery, while the U.S. dollar .DXY climbed, notching its first weekly rise since mid-June, and the price of oil CLc1 settled 1.1% lower at $42.34 a barrel. Oil is one of Canada's major exports.

The Canadian dollar CAD= was trading nearly unchanged at 1.3188 to the greenback, or 75.83 U.S. cents. The currency, which on Wednesday posted its strongest intraday level in nearly seven months at 1.3131, traded in a range of 1.3159 to 1.3234.

For the week, the loonie was up 0.6% despite the replacement of Canada’s finance minister amid friction over spending policies. On Thursday, Ottawa announced measures that will add billions of dollars to spending, including the extension of an emergency income-support program.

Canada's 10-year yield CA10YT=RR eased more than 2 basis points on Friday, touching its lowest intraday level since Aug. 11 at 0.540%.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Andrea Ricci