Canadian dollar climbs to 3-1/2-year high as greenback slides

Canadian bond yields little changed across the curve


TORONTO- The Canadian dollar rose on Thursday to its highest level against its U.S. counterpart in more than three and a half years as the greenback broadly fell, ahead of domestic jobs data that could offer clues on the Bank of Canada policy outlook.

The loonie CAD= was trading 0.4% higher at 1.2210 to the greenback, or 81.90 U.S. cents, having touched its strongest intraday level since September 2017 at 1.2196.*:nL1N2ME1G6

The currency has been on a tear since the Bank of Canada last month signaled it could begin hiking interest rates in late 2022 and cut the pace of its bond purchases.

Still, the currency is expected to give back some of its recent gains over the coming year as the BoC's more hawkish stance is offset by a potential dialing back of the U.S. Federal Reserve's asset purchase program, a Reuters poll showed.

The Canadian employment report for April is due on Friday. Analysts expect the data to show the economy shed 175,000 jobs as restrictions were tightened in some provinces to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. dollar .DXY fell from a two-week high against a basket of major currencies, while the price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, was down 1.1% at $64.91 a barrel. 

Oil was pressured by rising COVID-19 infections in India and elsewhere and despite a much sharper than expected fall in U.S. crude inventories.

Canadian government bond yields were little changed across the curve, with the 10-year trading at 1.516%, near the middle of its range over the past two months.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith Editing by Mark Heinrich) ((; +1 647 480 7446;))

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