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Canadian dollar hits a 5-week low as risk aversion climbs

Credit: REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The Canadian dollar weakened to a five-week low against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as rising coronavirus infections weighed on investor sentiment, while domestic data showed new house prices increasing at the fastest annual rate in more than two years.

* Canadian dollar weakens 0.4% against the greenback

* Loonie touches its weakest since Aug. 14 at 1.3264

* Canadian new house prices rise 2.1% year-over-year in August

* Canadian bond yields ease across a flatter curve

TORONTO, Sept 21 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened to a five-week low against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as rising coronavirus infections weighed on investor sentiment, while domestic data showed new house prices increasing at the fastest annual rate in more than two years.

Global shares fell as renewed lockdown measures in some countries due to the spread of the virus cast doubt over economic recovery.

Canada runs a current account deficit and is a major producer of commodities, including oil, so the loonie tends to be sensitive to the global flow of trade and capital.

U.S. crude prices were down 2.4% at $40.12 a barrel, pressured by the possible return of Libyan production and as rising COVID-19 cases stoked worries about global demand.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.4% lower at 1.3254 to the greenback, or 75.45 U.S. cents. The currency touched its weakest intraday level since Aug. 14 at 1.3264.

Canada has also seen a rise in coronavirus infections. On Saturday, Ontario, the country's most-populous province, cracked down on private social gatherings.

Still, speculators have cut their bearish bets on the Canadian dollar for the fourth straight week, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on Friday. As of Sept. 15, net short positions had fallen to 16,943 contracts from 17,355 in the prior week.

Canadian new house prices rose 2.1% year-over-year in August, which was the largest increase since March 2018, Statistics Canada said.

Canadian government bond yields were lower across a flatter curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries on Monday. The 10-year fell 3.7 basis points to 0.544%.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to unveil on Wednesday what he says is a bold far-reaching plan to help Canada recover from the coronavirus pandemic. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Will Dunham) ((fergal.smith@thomsonreuters.com; +1 416 941 8113;)) Keywords: CANADA FOREX/

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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