Canada's dollar strengthened for a second consecutive week versus its US counterpart as the currencies of commodity producing nations rallied as investors bet on faster global growth and sought higher-yielding assets.
The currency advanced less against the greenback than the majority of its most-traded peers as a report on Friday showed inflation slowed last month, adding to speculation the Bank of Canada will hold interest rates at 1 per cent for longer and dimming the appeal of the nation as an investment location. Statistics Canada will probably say retail sales rose for a fourth consecutive month in November, economists predict.
"Macro sentiment and the improvement of risk appetite overshadowed a lot of the Canada-specific news," Omer Esiner, chief market analyst in Washington at currency brokerage Commonwealth Foreign Exchange, said. "European bond auctions, Chinese data outweighed data out of Canada. The Bank of Canada probably won't raise rates this year."
The loonie, as the Can-adian currency is also known, rose 1 per cent to C$1.0132 in Toronto. One Canadian dollar buys 98.70 US cents. Canada's currency reached a high for the year of C$1.0071 on January 19.
The dollar fetched C$1.31035 versus the euro, a 1 per cent decline, after strengthening against the 17-nation common currency for the eight prior weeks.
Higher-yielding assets such as equities had five-day advances as Spain and France sold bonds at lower yields and a report showed faster-than-forecast growth in China.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 2 per cent and the MSCI World Index of equities in developed nations advanced 3 per cent last week. Gold rose on Friday for the third time in four days on increased demand for the precious metal, while silver jumped to a five-week high.
Canadian government bonds fell, driving benchmark 10-year yields 14 basis points higher to 2.06 per cent, the highest weekly close since the five days ended December 9. The 3.25 per cent securities due in June 2021 fell C$1.26 to C$110.08.
The difference between two- and 10-year government bonds widened to 101 basis points, or 1.01 percentage points, Friday. It narrowed to 96 basis points on January 17, the least since September 2008. A flatter yield curve generally indicates a worsening economic outlook.
Implied volatility for one-month options on the Canadian dollar versus the greenback fell to as low as 8.13 per cent on Friday from 11 per cent at year-end. Implied volatility, which traders quote and use to set option prices, signals the expected pace of swings in the underlying currency.
The loonie has weakened 2.7 per cent in the past year, according to Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Currency Indexes, a gauge of 10 developed-nation currencies. The US dollar has lost 0.6 per cent and the euro has fallen 4.7 per cent.
The Canadian dollar dropped on Friday versus its US counterpart after a government report showed the nation's inflation rate fell more than economists anticipated, weakening the argument for higher interest rates.
"The CPI result was a little disappointing," Nick Bennenbroek, head of currency strategy at Wells Fargo & Co, said by phone from New York, referring to the consumer price index that measures inflation.
Consumer prices fall
Consumer prices fell 0.6 per cent in December, compared with an advance of 0.1 per cent the previous month, Statistics Canada said in Ottawa. The rate climbed 2.3 per cent from a year earlier. The median forecast of 23 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 0.2 per cent monthly drop and a 2.7 per cent annualised increase.
The Bank of Canada raised its inflation forecast for this year in a monetary report last week. Inflation will average 2.2 per cent this quarter and 1.5 per cent from April to June, faster than October forecasts of 1.9 per cent and 1 per cent, the January 18 report said.
Governor Mark Carney kept his benchmark lending rate at 1 per cent on January 17, prolonging the longest pause since the bank began using it as a policy measure in 1994.