C$ strengthens on NAFTA trade deal optimism

(Adds strategist quotes and details throughout; updates prices)
* Canadian dollar at C$1.3130, or 76.16 U.S. cents
* NAFTA trade talks resume
* Canadian housing starts fall in August
* Canada's 10-year yield touches highest in nearly two weeks

By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, Sept 11 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar edged
higher against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday as oil prices
jumped and investors grew more optimistic of a deal to renew the
NAFTA trade pact.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland returned to
Washington for talks aimed at rescuing the North American Free
Trade Agreement. She said discussions between U.S. and Canadian
negotiating teams over the weekend were "constructive and
productive."
"I think (there is) a fair bit of optimism on the NAFTA
talks," said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange
strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York. "(Talks) seem to be
going well, at least from the little snippets we get from
Freeland."
Canada sends about 75 percent of its exports to the United
States, including autos and oil, so its economy could be hurt if
a deal is not reached.
U.S. crude oil futures settled 2.5 percent higher at
$69.25 a barrel, as U.S. sanctions squeezing Iranian crude
exports tightened global supply.
At 3:15 p.m. (1915 GMT), the Canadian dollar was
trading 0.3 percent higher at C$1.3130 to the greenback, or
76.16 U.S. cents.
The currency, which had touched on Thursday its weakest in
nearly seven weeks at C$1.3226, traded in a range of C$1.3124 to
C$1.3175.
The modest gain for the loonie came as stocks on Wall Street
were able to shake off concerns over the trade dispute between
Washington and Beijing and move higher.
In domestic data, housing starts declined to a seasonally
adjusted annualized rate of 200,986 units from a revised 205,751
units in July, data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation showed. Economists expected starts to rise to
210,300 homes.
Canadian government bond prices were lower across a steeper
yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries as the supply of
U.S. bonds weighed on prices.
The Canadian 10-year declined 33 Canadian cents
to yield 2.325 percent. The 10-year yield touched its highest
intraday since Aug. 29 at 2.329 percent.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith
Editing by Susan Thomas and Meredith Mazzilli)


First Published: 2018-09-11 15:19:38
Updated 2018-09-11 21:42:39


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