The Canadian dollar strengthened versus most of its major counterparts as stocks rose and a report showed retail sales increased more than forecast last month in the U.S., the nationâ€™s largest trading partner.
The loonie, as the currency is nicknamed, briefly erased gains versus its U.S. peer as crude oil, the nationâ€™s largest export, fell below $90 a barrel. Canadaâ€™s dollar advanced as existing home sales rose 2.5 percent in September from the previous month. U.S. retail sales gained 1.1 percent in September, following a revised 1.2 percent advance the previous month, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington.
â€œItâ€™s a strong currency and it remains favored by speculators, even though weâ€™ve seen other risk assets like oil come down,â€ Adam Button, a currency analyst at forexlive.com in Montreal, said in a phone interview. â€œIf stocks can rebound, the Canadian dollar will rebound right along with it. Thatâ€™s the main driver now.â€
Canadaâ€™s currency rose 0.2 percent to 97.83 cents per U.S. dollar at 2:29 p.m. in Toronto. One Canadian dollar buys $1.0222.
The Standard and Poorâ€™s 500 Index gained 0.6 percent. Crude oil futures were little changed at $91.89 a barrel in New York, after reaching as low as $89.79. The Standard & Poorâ€™s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials lost 0.3 percent.