May 21, 2020 / 2:09 PM / 15 days ago

CANADA FX DEBT-Canadian dollar clings to this week's gains as oil rallies

    * Canadian dollar trades near flat against the greenback
    * Price of U.S. oil increases 2.7%
    * Canada shed 226,700 nonfarm payroll jobs in April
    * Canadian bond yields were mixed across a flatter curve

    TORONTO, May 21 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little
changed against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, holding on to
gains since the start of the week as oil prices rose and
investors grappled with rising tensions between the United
States and China.
    U.S. stock indexes seesawed as growing Sino-U.S. tensions
and mixed retail earnings added to worries about the pace of a
recovery from a coronavirus-fueled economic slump.
    The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, rose to its
highest since March, supported by lower U.S. crude inventories,
OPEC-led supply cuts and recovering demand. U.S. crude       
prices were up 2.7% at $34.4 a barrel.
    The Canadian dollar          was trading nearly unchanged at
1.3900 to the greenback, or 71.94 U.S. cents. The currency,
which is up 1.4% this week, traded in a range of 1.3891 to
1.3944.
    Canada shed 226,700 nonfarm payroll jobs in April when
efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak shut down much of
the economy, a report from payroll services provider ADP showed.
Still, the March data was revised to show 17,200 jobs were lost
rather than 177,300.             
    Data earlier this month from the national statistical agency
showed that Canada lost a record-breaking 2 million jobs in
April.             
    To support the economy, Ottawa is rolling out about C$300
billion in economic support measures, while the Bank of Canada
has cut interest rates to near zero and has launched its first
ever large-scale bond-buying program.
    Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz will hold a
video-conference round table with members of the media at 1:30
p.m. (1730 GMT) to discuss and reflect on his mandate ahead of
his retirement on June 2.  
    Canadian government bond yields were mixed across a flatter
yield curve, with the 10-year             falling 1.7 basis
points to 0.548%.
    Canada's retail sales report for March is due on Friday.

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
  
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