Canada dollar falls as central bank forecast to hold 1% rate

Economic Data

Retail sales rose 0.2% to C$39.4 billion ($39.7 billion) after October’s gain was revised down to 0.5, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News forecast that retail sales would be unchanged from the previous month, according to the median of 23 forecasts. Retail sales less autos fell 0.3%, from a projected gain of 0.1% in a survey of 19 economists.

“I think for retail sales it was kind of a mixed report in the sense that there were revisions to the October report and so the upward surprise on headline was counterbalanced by a downward surprise less autos, which was all counterbalanced by what happened to the previous month’s revisions,” said Camilla Sutton, head of currency strategy at Bank of Nova Scotia, by phone from Toronto. “So the market might have been a bit confused by retail sales.”

Yen Trade

The Bank of Japan said it will conduct open-ended asset purchases of 13 trillion yen a month starting next year and set a 2% inflation target in a bid to weaken its currency and end two decades of stagnation, disappointing investors who had expected more immediate action to drive down the currency.

“There’s been so much yen weakness over the last two months or so, I think it was natural to see some profit-taking after the Bank of Japan announcement,” said Elsa Lignos, senior currency strategist at Royal Bank of Canada, by phone from London. Investors are “beginning to question whether the Bank of Japan can really do enough to weaken the yen.”

Japan’s five-year note yield fell to 0.15%, the lowest level since the government started selling the debt in February 2000.

The loonie has fallen 2% during the past six months versus nine developed-nation peers tracked by Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes. The euro has gained 6.1% while the greenback has dropped 4.1%.

Bloomberg News

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