Canada's dollar fell for the second week as stocks were pummeled and oil, the nation's largest export, declined to the lowest level since February, signaling less demand for risky assets.
The loonie, as the currency is nicknamed, fell versus 12 of its 16 most-traded counterparts this week on speculation slowing economic growth will weigh on demand for raw materials. Growth concern was tempered on Friday when reports showed Canadian jobs grew for a fourth straight month in July and employment increased in the US, the nation's largest trading partner, more than forecast. Demand for Canadian government securities will be tested when the Bank of Canada auctions three-year debt on Wednesday.
"Concern over the health of the US economy is probably a very negative translation to the Canadian economy," said Gregory Salvaggio, senior vice-president of capital markets in Washington at the currency trader Tempus Consulting.
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"On top of that, significant slippage in commodity prices all contribute to downward pressure on the loonie.
The Canadian currency fell 2.8 per cent to 98.20 cents per US dollar in Toronto from 95.52 on July 29. One Canadian dollar buys $1.0183. It touched 94.07 cents on July 26, the strongest since November 2007.
Canada's 10-year government bonds traded this week at the biggest discount to Treasuries this year. The yield on Canada's benchmark 3.25 per cent bond due June 2021 dropped to 2.50 per cent on Thursday, about 10 basis points higher than the equivalent-maturity US security.
Yields on two-year government bonds fell as much as 45 basis points this week, the most since October 2008. The bonds closed at 1.07 per cent, pushing the price of the 2 percent note due in August 2013 up 62 cents to C$101.81.
The loonie rebounded yesterday from its biggest drop in more than a year against its US counterpart after the jobs reports. Canada added 7,100 jobs in July, while U.S. payrolls climbed by a more-than-forecast 117,000 workers after a 46,000 increase in June. Canada's unemployment rate fell to 7.2 per cent from 7.4 per cent in May, while the US jobless rate declined to 9.1 per cent from 9.2 per cent.
The Canadian jobs gain was less than the 15,000 median of estimates in a Bloomberg News survey of 27 economists.
"It was slightly weaker than expected on the headline," said Camilla Sutton, head of currency strategy at Bank of Nova Scotia.