C$ notches weekly gain as ‘panic moment’ passes on Ukraine

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) – The Canadian dollar rallied against the greenback on Friday as traders walked back some of the large moves seen the day before in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and awaited an interest rate decision next week by the Bank of Canada.

The loonie climbed 0.8% to 1.2720 per greenback, or 78.62 U.S. cents, after trading in a range of 1.2711 to 1.2821.

On Thursday, the currency touched its weakest intraday level in more than two months at 1.2877. It was up 0.3% for the week.

“It feels like markets are moving past the panic moment that we had yesterday,” said Eric Theoret, global macro strategist at Manulife Investment Management. “It is really all about the big dollar, the U.S. dollar.”

The safe-haven U.S. dollar fell against a basket of major currencies, and stocks globally rose as investors welcomed coordinated Western sanctions on Russia that targeted its banks but not did not block it from a global payments system and left its energy sector largely untouched.

The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, gave back some recent gains, with U.S. crude futures settling 1.3% lower at $91.59 a barrel.

Analysts doubt that the start of war in Ukraine will stop the Bank of Canada from raising interest rates next Wednesday. A 25 basis point move is priced into money markets which would be the first hike since October 2018.

Canadian wholesale trade was up 3.9% in January from December, a flash estimate from Statistics Canada showed.

Canadian government bond yields were mixed across the curve, with the 10-year rate easing less than half a basis point to 1.916%.

Source : Reuters

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