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Canadian dollar rises by most in 11 months as commodities jump

05/06/2021 | 05:10pm EDT
FILE PHOTO: A Canadian dollar coin, commonly known as the

TORONTO (Reuters) - 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 fell broadly and prices of some of the commodities Canada produces surged.

Aluminum approached levels not reached since 2018, bolstered by positive economic data and rising tensions between China and Australia, while copper jumped 1.9% and gold was up more than 1.5%.

"Commodities matter a fair deal to the Canadian economy," said Michael Goshko, corporate risk manager at Western Union Business Solutions. "When commodity prices strengthen, so too does the Canadian dollar."

The loonie was trading 1% higher at 1.2145 to the greenback, or 82.34 U.S. cents, its biggest gain since June last year and its strongest level since September 2017.

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.

"You could be witnessing some market capitulation," Goshko said. "In the face of an employment report tomorrow that's supposed to be very negative, it's quite extraordinary to see it (the loonie) doing so well."

Analysts expect Canada's employment report on Friday to show the economy shed 175,000 jobs in April as restrictions were tightened in some provinces to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, the Canadian dollar 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 U.S. dollar on Thursday hit a three-day low against a basket of major currencies.

Canada's 10-year yield was little changed at 1.516%, near the middle of its range over the past two months.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Dan Grebler)

By Fergal Smith

© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
EURO / CANADIAN DOLLAR (EUR/CAD) 0.57% 1.47861 Delayed Quote.-5.34%
S&P GSCI ALUMINUM INDEX -0.33% 151.386 Delayed Quote.20.56%
THE WESTERN UNION COMPANY -0.77% 23.25 Delayed Quote.5.97%
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