Canadian dollar adds to weekly gain as retail sales climb

 Canadian dollar adds to weekly gain as retail sales climb

November 20, 2020

TORONTO (Reuters) – The Canadian dollar edged higher against its U.S. counterpart on Friday as domestic data showed a stronger-than-expected increase in September retail sales, with the currency adding to this week’s advance.

Canadian retail sales grew by 1.1% in September on higher sales at general merchandise stores, Statistics Canada said. That surpassed the 0.2% gain economists expected.

The Canadian dollar <CAD=> rose 0.2% to 1.3050 per greenback, or 76.63 U.S. cents. The currency traded in a range of 1.3047 to 1.3088. It has gained 0.6% since the start of the week.

The loonie’s advance on Friday came even as the U.S. dollar <.DXY> edged up against a basket of major currencies. Supportive of the greenback, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called an end to some of the Federal Reserve’s pandemic lending.

The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, was pressured by renewed lockdowns in several countries to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. crude <CLc1> prices were down 0.2% at $41.66 a barrel.

New daily cases of COVID-19 in Canada could soar to 60,000 by the end of the year, up from less than 5,000 now, if people increase their daily contacts, medical officials said in a grim forecast.

Canadian government bond yields were mixed cross the curve on Friday, with the 10-year <CA10YT=RR> down half a basis point at 0.670%.

On Thursday, ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service affirmed Canada’s triple-A rating, saying the risk of a material, long-lasting deterioration to Canada’s economic or fiscal strength from the coronavirus crisis is low.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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