Canadian dollar steadies as oil gives back some recent gains

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 was little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday as the recent rally in oil lost some momentum and ahead of a parliamentary appearance by Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem.

The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, slipped from seven-month highs as signs of growing supplies helped to halt a rally driven by optimism that COVID-19 vaccines will revive fuel demand.

U.S. crude prices were down 0.8% at $45.36 a barrel, while the Canadian dollar was trading nearly unchanged at 1.3001 to the greenback, or 76.92 U.S. cents. It traded in a narrow range of 1.2990 to 1.3013.

On Wednesday, it touched its strongest intraday level since Nov. 10 at 1.2982 as recent progress on vaccines, Joe Biden’s U.S. presidential election win and hopes for further economic stimulus boosted investor sentiment.

U.S. markets were closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Macklem and Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins are due to appear by videoconference before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance at 3:30 p.m. EST (2030 GMT). The central bank indicated last month that it will leave interest rates at a record low of 0.25% until at least 2023.

Canadian payroll employment rose by 337,500, or 2.2%, in September, Statistics Canada said. Still, payroll employment has declined by 1.2 million since February due to the coronavirus crisis.

Canadian government bond yields were lower across much of a flatter curve. The 10-year yield fell by one basis point to 0.703%.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Paul Simao