Canadian dollar hits a 10-week low on rising risk aversion

·2 min read
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 weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Friday as investors took advantage of a jump in the currency after stronger-than-expected domestic jobs data to add to bearish bets, with the loonie extending this week's decline.

The loonie was trading 0.2% lower at 1.2829 to the greenback, or 77.95 U.S. cents, after touching its weakest level since Sept. 21 at 1.2846. For the week, the loonie was down 0.3%.

"We have seen a swift move lower in risk appetite ever since the stock market opened," said Erik Bregar, an independent FX analyst. "The spike higher (in the loonie) this morning, it was a nice move to fade and keep riding the trend down."

Wall Street's major indexes fell as investors grappled with a disappointing U.S. jobs gain and uncertainty around the potential impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant, while the price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, settled 0.4% lower at $66.26 a barrel.

Canada's economy posted a job gain of 154,000 in November, eclipsing estimates for an increase of 35,000, while the jobless rate dropped to a new pandemic low.

Economists say the data is unlikely to change the Bank of Canada's guidance at a policy announcement next week amid worries over the new variant and after massive recent flooding in British Columbia that has hampered trade through Vancouver.

Still, analysts are sticking with bullish forecasts on the Canadian dollar, expecting oil prices to rebound and the Bank of Canada to hike interest rates before the U.S. Federal Reserve, a Reuters poll showed.

Canadian government bond yields were mixed across a flatter curve.

The 2-year rate rose 3.6 basis points to 1.009%, while the 10-year touched its lowest level since Sept. 27 at 1.425% before recovering slightly to 1.433%, down 7.3 basis points on the day.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Barbara Lewis and Sandra Maler)

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