(Corrects comparison to U.S. dollar in first and third
paragraphs to little changed instead of stronger)
* Canadian dollar at C$1.3334 or 75.00 U.S. cents
* Bond prices higher across the maturity curve
March 22 The Canadian dollar strengthened
slightly against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, but barely
changed after the government unveiled a stay-the-course federal
budget that targeted export growth, while earlier losses were
reversed as the greenback fell.
Canada's Liberal government's budget contained few
surprises, in line with expectations that Ottawa wants to wait
to see what impact U.S. President Donald Trump’s still-evolving
policies will have.
At 6:15 p.m. ET (2216 GMT), the Canadian dollar was
trading at C$1.3334 to the greenback, or 75.00 U.S. cents,
little changed from the Bank of Canada's official close of
C$1.3327, or 75.03 U.S. cents.
The U.S. dollar had fallen as investors rethought growth
expectations under the Trump administration that had pushed the
greenback to a 14-year peak and stocks to record highs.
The dollar index , which measures the currency against
a basket of six other currencies, touched a near seven-week low
"If these dollar crosses move further in the direction of
their current trends, the greenback could suffer from momentum
selling," said Fawad Razaqzad, market analyst at Forex.com.
The Canadian dollar's strongest level of the session was
C$1.3328, while its weakest level was C$1.3336.
Wednesday's budget blueprint, which is bound to be
implemented given the Liberal’s parliamentary majority,
reinstated a fiscal cushion, effectively a rainy day reserve set
at C$3 billion a year to guard against any unexpected event that
could hurt the government books, a move economists praised as
Oil, one of Canada's leading exports, slipped to its lowest
since late November after data showed record-high U.S. crude
inventories rising faster than expected, raising doubts over the
viability of OPEC-led output cuts.
U.S. crude prices were down 0.3 percent to $48.12 a
barrel, while Brent crude lost 0.5 percent to
Canadian government bond prices were higher across the
maturity curve, with the two-year price up 3 Canadian
cents to yield 0.774 percent and the benchmark 10-year
rising 19 Canadian cents to yield 1.682 percent.
Canada's inflation report for February is due on Friday.
(Reporting by Ethan Lou in Calgary, Alberta; Editing by James