Loonie extends August’s decline as boost fades from GDP gain By Reuters


© Reuters. Loonie extends August’s decline as boost fades from GDP gain

* Canadian dollar falls 0.3% against the greenback

* Canada’s Q2 GDP rises by 3.7% annualized

* Loonie declines 1% in August

* Canadian bond prices fall across a steeper yield curve

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO, Aug 30 (Reuters) – The Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Friday, giving up gains it made after data showing stronger-than-expected GDP growth for the second quarter, as oil prices fell and the greenback broadly rallied.

The Canadian economy expanded at a surprisingly strong annualized rate of 3.7% in the second quarter, a pace much higher than the Bank of Canada had predicted, thanks to a resurgence in goods exports, although business investment declined and growth in consumer spending slowed, Statistics Canada data indicated.

“The guts of the GDP report weren’t as constructive as the initial headline appeared,” said Bipan Rai, North America head of FX Strategy at CIBC Capital Markets. “We are getting some (U.S.) dollar strength as well across the board. That might have been flow driven given that this is month-end.”

The U.S. dollar climbed against a basket of major currencies as the euro slumped to its weakest since May 2017. the price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, fell ahead of a hurricane near the Florida coast that could dampen demand. U.S. crude oil futures settled 2.8% lower at $55.10 a barrel.

At 2:34 PM EDT (1834 GMT), the Canadian dollar CAD=D4 was trading 0.3% lower at 1.3325 to the greenback, or 75.05 U.S. cents. The currency, which was down 1% for the month, traded in a range of 1.3247 to 1.3328.

Friday’s decline for the came ahead of a Bank of Canada policy announcement on Sept. 4.

Whether the Bank of Canada waits until early 2020 to lower interest rates or does so this year has left economists polled by Reuters almost evenly divided, but they say the likelihood of a cut by year-end has increased dramatically from last month. government bond prices were lower across a steeper yield curve, with the two-year down 1 Canadian cent to yield 1.353% and the 10-year falling 15 Canadian cents to yield 1.164%.

Earlier this month, the 10-year yield hit its lowest level since October 2016 at 1.083%.

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