C$ steadies, bond yields fall after ‘downbeat’ BoC survey


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TORONTO — The Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Monday and bond yields fell as a Bank of Canada survey showed businesses growing more pessimistic about the economic outlook.

The loonie was trading nearly unchanged at 1.34 to the greenback, or 74.63 U.S. cents, after moving in a range of 1.3353 to 1.3417.

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Most Canadian businesses expect a mild recession over the next year because higher interest rates are curbing investment plans and consumer spending, while at the same time more see inflation staying high for longer, the BoC said.

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The survey “was largely downbeat on the economic outlook,” strategists at TD Securities, including Andrew Kelvin, said in a note.

“As much as recent readings on employment and prices argue for additional tightening, the survey data very much suggests that the Bank may be quite close to the end of its tightening cycle.”

Money markets expect the BoC’s benchmark interest rate to peak at 4.50%, after it was raised last month to 4.25%.

Canadian consumer price data for December, due on Tuesday, could provide further clues on the rate outlook. It is expected to show the annual rate of inflation slowing to 6.4%.

As Canadian inflation slows, the cost of essentials, such as food and rent, offers pointers as to whether inflation will return sustainably to the BoC’s 2% target, say economists, as those items are key drivers of inflation expectations.

Separate data on Monday showed that Canadian factory sales were flat in November versus the previous month, while home sales rose 1.3% in December.

The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, fell 1.3% to $78.85 a barrel.

The Canadian 2-year yield touched its lowest level since Sept. 13 at 3.582% before recovering to 3.603%, down 7.7 basis points on the day. (Reporting by Fergal Smith in Toroto Editing by Andrea Ricci and Matthew Lewis)


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