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Canadian Dollar Strengthens Against Majors

The Canadian dollar strengthened on Thursday as oil recovered some of yesterday's losses as fairly positive Spanish and French debt auctions eased European debt concerns.

The crude oil for May delivery is currently trading at $102.93 per barrel, up 26 cents from yesterday's close of $102.73.

The oil fell to a 2-day low near $102.0 on Wednesday after an Energy Information Administration report showed that the U.S. crude oil stockpiles jumped more than expected last week.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration in its weekly crude oil report said U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased by 3.90 million barrels to 369.00 million barrels last week, and are in the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

Spain successfully auctioned 2.54 billion euros worth of 2-year and 10-year bonds, slightly above the maximum target of 2.50 billion euros.

The Canadian dollar climbed to a 2-day high of 0.9882 against its US counterpart around 6:00 am ET. On the upside, the loonie may find target around the 0.9860/65 level.

The loonie extended its 2-day winning streak against the yen, hitting nearly a 2-week high of 82.66 around 6:20 am ET. The next probable resistance for the pair is seen in the 82.90/83.0 area.

Japan posted a merchandise trade deficit of 82.55 billion yen in March, the Ministry of Finance said today. The headline figure topped forecast for a shortfall of 223.2 billion yen following the downwardly revised 29.4 billion yen surplus in February, although the trade balance fell into the red for the fifth time in six months.

Exports were up 5.9 percent on year to 6.204 trillion yen, also blowing past expectations for an increase of 0.2 percent following the 2.7 percent contraction in the previous month.

Imports climbed an annual 10.5 percent to 6.286 trillion yen, climbing for the 27th consecutive month. That compares to forecasts for a gain of 7.0 percent after rising 9.2 percent a month earlier.

The Canadian currency reversed its initial downtrend against the euro, snapping back to 1.2974 around 6:40 am ET from previous low of 1.3017. The euro-loonie pair is presently quoted at 1.2983.

The German economy is expected to grow at a slightly faster pace than estimated in 2012, as the risks surrounding the global economy receded, according to a joint report published by the country's leading economic research institutes today.

The gross domestic product is forecast to rise 0.9 percent this year, slightly faster than the previously projected 0.8 percent growth. For 2013, the institutes forecast 2 percent growth.

Looking ahead, the US weekly jobless claims for the weekended April 14, existing home sales and leading indicators-both for March and Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing data for April are expected in the North American session.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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