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Canadian dollar gains for a 2nd day as risk appetite improves

·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: 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 rose for a second day against its broadly weaker U.S. counterpart on Tuesday, as investor sentiment strengthened after it was weakened last week by a hawkish shift in guidance from the Federal Reserve.

The loonie was trading 0.4% higher at 1.2310 to the greenback, or 81.23 U.S. cents. On Monday, it touched its weakest level since April 26 at 1.2485 before recovering to end up 0.8%, its biggest gain in nearly seven weeks.

"It's a broad U.S. dollar move again today," said Erik Bregar, head of FX strategy at the Exchange Bank of Canada. "I think that's very much because risk sentiment is on the up and up again."

The Nasdaq hit an intra-day record high and copper prices rebounded from 10-week lows. Canada is a major exporter of commodities, including oil and base metals, which have benefited from Fed stimulus.

Last week, the Fed projected it would begin hiking interest rates in 2023 rather than in 2024, rattling financial markets.

"Everything is calming down a bit this week," Bregar said.

The U.S. dollar lost ground against a basket of major currencies, while oil settled 0.8% lower at $73.06 a barrel as OPEC+ discussed raising production.

Canada's retail sales report for April is due on Wednesday, which could offer clues on the strength of the domestic economy.

Canadian retailers are readying for a post-pandemic rebound as consumers emerge from lockdowns and open their wallets, but higher costs are eroding profit margins and fanning inflationary pressures.

Canadian government bond yields were mixed across a steeper curve, with the 2-year yield easing 3.2 basis points to 0.424%. On Friday, it touched its highest level since April last year at 0.472%.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Peter Cooney)

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