The Canadian dollar weakened to a one-year low against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday after a speech by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz reduced bets for an interest rate hike next month from the central bank.
The effects of U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs and tighter mortgage rules will “figure prominently” in the Bank of Canada’s July decision on interest rates, Poloz said. “We have seen a pretty aggressive sell-off in the Canadian dollar in response to the Poloz speech,” said Eric Theoret, a currency strategist at Scotiabank.
The market was looking for some clarity on the prospect of an interest rate hike next month but the speech put the focus on upcoming domestic data, Theoret said. Chances of a rate increase at the July 11 announcement fell to less than 50 percent from about 55 percent before the speech.
Canada’s gross domestic product data for April and the Bank of Canada Business Outlook Survey are due on Friday.
At 3:52 p.m. EDT (1952 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.5 percent lower at C$1.3370 to the greenback, or 74.79 U.S. cents. The currency touched its weakest since June 12, 2017 at C$1.3386.
The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, was supported by U.S. demands that importers stop buying Iranian crude from November. U.S. crude prices settled 3.2 percent higher at $72.76 a barrel. Some of the benefit of higher prices, however, could be lost for Canada due to a supply outage at the Syncrude oil sands facility in Alberta, with repairs expected to last at least through July.
U.S. stocks fell on renewed uncertainty regarding the U.S. stance on Chinese investments in American technology companies.
Canada runs a current account deficit so its economy could be hurt if the flow of trade or capital slows. The country also has its own trade dispute with the United States and is in slow-moving talks to revamp the North American Free Trade agreement.
Canada’s trade minister last week met senior officials from auto companies in Detroit, as Ottawa takes its lobbying effort directly to the Big Three carmakers to avert potential U.S. auto tariffs.
Canadian government bond prices were higher across the yield curve, with the two-year up 5 Canadian cents to yield 1.78 percent and the 10-year rising 34 Canadian cents to yield 2.067 percent. The 10-year yield touched its lowest since Jan. 4 at 2.056 percent.