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CANADA FX DEBT-Canadian dollar heads for weekly gain as greenback slips

·2 min read
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* Canadian dollar strengthens 0.4% against the greenback * For the week, the loonie was on track to gain 0.2% * Canadian wholesale trade falls 0.7% in February * Canadian bond yields rise across a steeper curve TORONTO, April 16 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Friday, turning higher for the week, as higher oil prices and a broader decline for the greenback offset domestic data showing a bigger-than-expected drop in wholesale trade. The U.S. dollar was set to post a second week of losses amid an extended retreat in Treasury yields, as investors increasingly bought into the Federal Reserve's insistence it would keep an accommodative policy stance for a while longer. The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, was on track for a weekly gain as a stronger demand outlook and signs of economic recovery in China and the United States offset rising COVID-19 infections in some other major economies. U.S. crude prices were up 0.1% at $63.5 a barrel, while the Canadian dollar was trading 0.4% higher at 1.2497 to the greenback, or 80.02 U.S. cents. For the week, the loonie was up 0.2%. Canadian wholesale trade fell 0.7% in February from January, compared with the 0.4% decline that analysts expected, on building materials and supplies, as well as motor vehicles and parts, data from Statistics Canada showed. Separate data showed that foreign investors bought a net C$8.52 billion in Canadian securities in February, led by a four-year high investment in corporate shares. The Canadian economy is likely to grow at a slower pace this quarter and next than previously expected, but tighter lockdown restrictions from another wave of coronavirus cases were unlikely to derail the economic recovery, a Reuters poll showed. The Bank of Canada is due to update its economic forecasts next week. Canadian government bond yields were higher across a steeper curve, tracking U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year rose 2.6 basis points to 1.511%, after touching on Thursday its lowest intraday level in five weeks at 1.434%. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis)