On Friday, the Canadian currency dropped to a three-week low versus the US dollar as domestic retail sales data revealed that the economy is suffering from rising borrowing rates.
According to statistics from Statistics Canada, Canadian retail sales decreased by 0.2% from January to February and are projected to decrease by another 1.4% in March.
Canadians’ wallets are beginning to feel the effects of high mortgage rates, according to Adam Button, head currency analyst at ForexLive. The second quarter and beyond will see differences in how the U.S. and Canadian economies function since Canada is more susceptible to increasing interest rates.
The Bank of Canada has lifted its benchmark interest rate to a 15-year high of 4.50% to tackle inflation, leading to upward pressure on mortgage rates after a number of years in which Canadians borrowed heavily to participate in a red-hot housing market.
The Canadian dollar was trading 0.5% lower at 1.3545 to the greenback, or 73.83 U.S. cents, after touching its weakest intraday level since March 31 at 1.3563.
For the week, the currency lost 1.4% as investors raised bets on an interest rate hike next month by the Federal Reserve and the price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, fell.
Oil clawed back some of its weekly decline on Friday, settling 0.7% higher at $77.87 a barrel.
Canadian government bond yields were lower across the curve. The 2-year dropped 6 basis points to 3.746%, while it was trading 8 basis points further below its U.S. counterpart to a gap of about 44 basis points.