Canadian dollar climbs to four-month high amid trade deal optimism

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/File Photo

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened to a near four-month high against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday as oil prices rose and investors became more optimistic that the United States and China would strike a trade deal.

U.S. stocks rose after comments by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin fueled optimism that the United States and China would strike a trade deal.

Canada has its own trade issues with China. Still, it is a major exporter of commodities, including oil, so its economy could benefit from reduced uncertainty for global trade.

The price of oil was buoyed by an outage at a major refinery on the U.S. East Coast and industry data that showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell more than expected. U.S. crude oil futures were up 2.7% at $59.40 a barrel

At 9:40 a.m. (1340 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.1% higher at 1.3154 to the greenback, or 76.02 U.S. cents. The currency touched its strongest intraday level since March 1 at 1.3142.

The loonie rose even as China said it wants the Canadian government to stop allowing meat shipments to China after bogus export certificates were discovered.

Canadian government bond prices were lower across the yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries, with the two-year down 3 Canadian cents to yield 1.419% and the 10-year falling 21 Canadian cents to yield 1.457%.

Canadian gross domestic product data for April is due for release on Friday.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Nick Zieminski