Canadian dollar tumbles by most since June on rising risk aversion

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 fell to a two-week low against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday as oil prices tumbled and a selloff in technology shares weighed on investor sentiment, with the loonie sliding one day before a Bank of Canada interest rate decision.

The loonie CAD= was trading 0.9% lower at 1.3215 to the greenback, or 75.67 U.S. cents, its biggest decline since June 11. The currency hit its weakest intraday level since Aug. 25 at 1.3220, having pulled back from its strongest in nearly eight months last week at 1.2990.

“That heavy risk-off tone is finally making its way through to the loonie,” said Scott Smith, managing partner at Viewpoint Investment Partners, adding that “we are seeing the loonie selloff in line with the rest of global financial markets.”

U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 settled 7.6% lower $36.76 a barrel, after Saudi Arabia cut its October selling prices and there was a flare-up of novel coronavirus cases around the world.

The Nasdaq tumbled as a sell-off in high-flying technology stocks extended to a third straight day, while the safe-haven U.S. dollar climbed to a three-week high against a basket of major currencies.

The Bank of Canada is expected to leave its benchmark interest rate on hold at 0.25% on Wednesday and at least until the end of 2022, a Reuters poll showed, despite data suggesting to some analysts that the economy is recovering faster than the central bank expected.

“It will mostly be cruise control for the time being from the Bank of Canada,” Smith said.

Canadian government bond yields were lower across a flatter curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries on Tuesday. The 10-year CA10YT=RR fell 3.3 basis points to 0.564%.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Grant McCool