March 19, 2020 / 9:12 PM / 21 days ago

WRAPUP 1-Canada's TSX recoups some recent losses, loonie steadies as oil rebounds

    * Canadian dollar trades near flat against greenback
    * Price of U.S. oil increases 25%
    * Loonie hits weakest intraday level in four years
    * Canadian bond yields fall across flatter curve

    TORONTO, March 19 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock market
rallied on Thursday and the loonie recovered from an earlier
four-year low, as the price of oil posted its biggest-ever gain
and global policymakers took steps to try to contain the
financial rout triggered by the coronavirus outbreak.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange Composite Index           closed
up 3.8% at 12,170.52, with gains across all 10 of the index's
main groups. The index has fallen about 32% from its Feb. 28
peak.
    The healthcare sector, which includes once high-flying
cannabis shares, rose 9.5%, while energy was up 5.4%.
    U.S. crude oil prices        spiked by 25%, the largest
single-day gain on record, after plunging the previous day to
near 20-year lows.             
     Stocks globally          also rose as the Federal Reserve
increased access to dollars for central banks in nine countries
and after the European Central Bank pledged late on Wednesday to
buy 750 billion euros in sovereign debt through 2020.
            
    The scramble for U.S. dollar        liquidity continued
despite efforts to contain financial stress, with the greenback
climbing about 1.5% against a basket of major currencies.
                        
    The Canadian dollar          was nearly unchanged at 1.4518
to the greenback, or 68.88 U.S. cents. The currency touched its
weakest intraday level since January 2016 at 1.4669.
     Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he
expected the closure of the U.S.-Canada border to take effect
overnight on Friday and was working with domestic carriers to
bring home citizens stranded overseas.                 
    On Wednesday, Trudeau said his government would provide C$27
billion ($18.6 billion) in stimulus directly to Canadian
families and businesses and Bank of Canada Governor Stephen
Poloz left the door open to further interest rate cuts.
            
    Canada added jobs in February for the eighth consecutive
month, but the 7,200 increase was the smallest since October, a
report from payroll services provider ADP showed on Thursday.
            
    Canadian government bond yields fell across a flatter curve,
with the 10-year down 4.3 basis points at 1.002%. The gap
between Canada's 10-year yield and the U.S. equivalent narrowed
by 6 basis points to a spread of 15.3 basis points in favor of
the U.S. bond.


($1 = 1.4506 Canadian dollars)
    

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Peter Cooney)
  
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