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CANADA FX DEBT-Canadian dollar notches a 3-week high as equities climb

·2-min read
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* Canadian dollar strengthens 0.1% against the greenback * Loonie touches its strongest level since March 22 at 1.2476 * Canadian home sales rise 5.2% in March from February * Canadian bond yields ease across a flatter curve TORONTO, April 15 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar edged higher for a third straight day against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, as equity markets rose and domestic data showed home sales setting a record high in March. The loonie was trading 0.1% higher at 1.2513 to the greenback, or 79.92 U.S. cents, having touched its strongest intraday level since March 22 at 1.2476. Canadian home sales rose 5.2% in March from February, while a measure of home prices was up 20.1% year-over-year, amid strong demand in markets across the country, the Canadian Real Estate Association said. The Bank of Canada, which is due to make an interest rate decision next Wednesday, has become increasingly concerned in recent months that housing gains are being driven by excessive exuberance, investor activity and a fear of missing out. Canadian factory sales decreased by 1.6% in February from January, Statistics Canada said, while a report from payroll services provider ADP showed that the economy added 634,800 jobs in March as some provinces eased pandemic-related restrictions. World stocks were on course to extend a five-day run of record highs, helped by lower bond yields and U.S. retail sales data that cemented expectations for robust growth in the first quarter. Canada sends about 75% of its exports to the United States, including oil. Oil prices eased about 0.5% but remained close to a one-month high that was driven by more positive demand forecasts from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and OPEC as economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadian government bond yields were lower across a flatter curve in tandem with U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year fell 3.6 basis points to 1.492%. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis)