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* Canadian dollar strengthens for seventh straight week
* Speculators raise bullish bets to highest since November
* March factory sales rise 3.5%; wholesale trade up 2.8%
* Price of U.S. oil settles 2.4% higher
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, May 14 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar rose against
the greenback on Friday and posted its longest streak of weekly
gains since 2016, as speculative bets on the currency climbed
and investors shook off the Bank of Canada's concern that
further strength could hurt the economy.
The loonie was trading 0.4% higher at 1.2109 to the
greenback, or 82.58 U.S. cents and was up 0.2% for the week, its
seventh straight weekly advance. It has climbed more than 5%
since the start of the year, the biggest gain among G10
Speculators have raised their bullish bets on the Canadian
dollar to the highest since November 2019, data from the U.S.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed. As of May 11, net
long positions had increased to 38,629 contracts from 25,947 in
the prior week.
If the currency continues to rise, it could create headwinds
for exports and business investment as well as affecting
monetary policy, BoC Governor Tiff Macklem said on Thursday.
"The market had a little bit of time to think about exactly
what the Bank of Canada Governor was saying yesterday and they
realized that the fundamentals behind what's driving prices
right now hasn't changed," said Brad Schruder, director of
corporate sales and structuring at BMO Capital Markets.
Some of the commodities that Canada produces, including
copper and oil, have surged this year as the global economy
recovers from the coronavirus crisis.
U.S. crude oil futures settled 2.4% higher on Friday
at $65.37 a barrel, reversing some of the previous day's sharp
losses as stock markets strengthened and the U.S. dollar
Domestic data for March showed that factory sales rose 3.5%
and wholesale trade was up 2.8%.
Canada's 10-year yield was little changed at
1.559%. On Thursday, it touched its highest intraday level in
eight weeks at 1.624%.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith
Editing by Nick Zieminski and David Gregorio)