Canadian dollar notches weekly gain as Fed impact fades

·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A Canadian dollar coin, commonly known as the "Loonie", is pictured in this illustration picture taken in Toronto

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar edged higher against its U.S. counterpart on Friday as oil prices climbed and investors grew less worried about the Federal Reserve's shift to more hawkish guidance, with the currency adding to this week's gains.

The loonie was trading 0.2% higher at 1.2300 to the greenback, or 81.30 U.S. cents, after trading in a range of 1.2271 to 1.2329.

It was up 1.3% for the week, clawing back some its decline from the previous week when the Federal Reserve surprised markets by projecting it would begin interest rate hikes in 2023 rather than 2024.

"The Fed was a turning point but it wasn't a complete game changer," said Alvise Marino, FX strategist at Credit Suisse in New York.

"The fact that the Fed was able to introduce some hawkishness in to the discourse but without causing a tantrum (in the bond market) ... that's something that has allowed risky assets to perform well," Marino said.

The S&P 500 index hit a record high as weaker-than-expected U.S. inflation data eased worries about a sudden tapering in stimulus by the Fed.

Oil, one of Canada's major exports, notched a fifth consecutive week of gains on expectations demand growth will outstrip supply. U.S. crude oil futures settled 1% higher on Friday at $74.05 a barrel.

Canada projects COVID-19 infections will decline rapidly over the next two months, but the more contagious Delta variant risks causing a greater-than-expected resurgence of cases later this year, public health officials said.

Canadian government bond yields rose across a steeper curve, tracking the move in U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year was up 4.4 basis points at 1.460%, extending its rebound from last Friday's 3-1/2-month low at 1.364%.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Nick Zieminski)

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