The Canadian dollar strengthened against 11 of the 16 most- traded currencies, gaining 1.3 percent against Japanese yen as the trade surplus swelled from a nine-year low to C$3.26 billion ($3.29 billion), Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Economists had said the surplus would grow to C$2.6 billion, the median of 23 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. Crude oil futures climbed to a record today, and gold and copper rose.
Canada's dollar rose 0.2 percent to 99.40 cents per U.S. dollar at 10:01 a.m. in Toronto, from 99.63 cents yesterday. It touched 99.83 cents yesterday, the lowest since Feb. 26. One Canadian dollar bought $1.0061 today.
The Bank of Canada reduced its benchmark lending rate by a half-percentage point on March 4 to 3.5 percent to bolster growth amid a slowdown in exports to the U.S., the nation's largest trading partner.
Economic reports over the past week showed Canada's domestic spending remained strong. A government report on March 7 said employers added more jobs in February than economists forecast in a Bloomberg survey.
The Canadian currency pared its gains as the U.S. dollar strengthened after central banks in the 10 industrial nations announced plans to pump money into the financial markets to ease credit shortages.