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Loonie Weakens After Canada Consumer Prices Fall Unexpectedly

The Canadian dollar dropped against its major rivals in the European session on Friday, erasing early gains, after data showed that the nation's consumer price inflation dropped unexpectedly in March.

Data from Statistics Canada showed that inflation dropped to 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis in March, contradicting expectations for a 0.4 percent rise. It fell 0.2 percent on month last month on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Core inflation ticked up to 0.3 percent month-on-month, a tad slower than the 0.4 percent growth logged in February.

Crude oil futures were slightly lower, amid indications of growing oil production in the U.S.

Baker Hughes releases its oil rig count data this afternoon. Domestic drillers have added rigs almost every week this year, hoping to take advantage of stable oil prices near $50 a barrel.

European stocks were mixed as uncertainty prevailed ahead of this weekend's French presidential election.

The loonie was higher against its major rivals in the Asian session, with the exception of the aussie.

The loonie dropped to 1.0178 against the aussie, its lowest level since April 4. This may be compared to a high of 1.0127 hit at 8:45 pm ET. The next possible support for the loonie is seen around the 1.03 zone.

Reversing from an early high of 1.3458 against the greenback, the loonie fell to 1.3497. Continuation of the loonie's downtrend may see it challenging support around the 1.36 level.

The loonie, having advanced to a 2-day high of 1.4397 against the euro at 7:15 am ET, reversed direction and fell to 1.4445. The loonie is poised to challenge support around the 1.46 region.

Survey results from IHS Markit showed that Eurozone private sector growth hit a fresh six-year high in April.

The flash composite output index rose unexpectedly to 56.7 in April from 56.4 in March. The latest reading was the highest since April 2011. Economists had forecast the score to remain unchanged at 56.4.

Following a 3-day high of 81.25 hit versus the yen at 2:15 am ET, the loonie weakened to 80.81. If the loonie falls further, 79.00 is possibly seen as its next support level.

Figures from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed that Japan's tertiary activity index increased at a slower-than-expected pace in February, after falling in the previous two months.

The tertiary activity index rose 0.2 percent month-over-month in February, reversing a 0.2 percent drop in January. Economists had expected a 0.3 percent climb for the month.

Looking ahead, Markit's U.S. manufacturing PMI for April and U.S. existing home sales for March are set for release shortly.

At 9:30 am ET, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari speaks at the Community Economic Development Symposium, in St. Paul.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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