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Canadian Dollar Weakens After Core Retail Sales Fall Unexpectedly

The Canadian dollar weakened against its major counterparts in the European session on Friday, after data showed that the nation's consumer price inflation matched forecasts, while core retail sales fell unexpectedly.

Data from Statistics Canada showed that the consumer price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent on month in April, matching expectations.

This follows a 0.2 percent drop in March.

Core inflation, excluding food and energy, ticked up 0.1 percent month-on-month in April, after a 0.1 percent decline a month ago.

Separate data showed that Canadian retail sales rose 0.7 percent on a monthly basis in March, surpassing forecasts for a 0.3 percent uptick. The February reading was revised to a 0.4 percent fall, whose reading was previously reported as 0.6 percent decline.

Core retail sales fell 0.2 percent month-over-month in March, slightly steeper than previous month's 0.1 percent slide. Economists were looking for a gain of 0.2 percent.

The currency was higher before the release of data, buoyed by higher oil prices. Oil prices rallied on optimism that oil producing nations will agree on an extension of output deal at a meeting next week.

The loonie spiked up against its major rivals in the Asian session.

The loonie fell to 81.74 against the yen, from a 2-day high of 82.33 hit at 4:45 am ET. The loonie-yen pair is likely to find support around the 80.00 area.

The loonie, having advanced to a 2-day high of 1.0077 against the aussie at 9:00 pm ET, reversed direction and edged down to 1.0135. The loonie is seen finding support around the 1.02 level.

The loonie weakened to 1.5204 against the European currency, off its previous 2-day high of 1.5089. Continuation of the loonie's downtrend may see it challenging support around the 1.53 mark.

Figures from the European Central Bank showed that the euro area current account surplus declined in March largely due to widening shortfall on secondary income.

The current account surplus fell to a seasonally adjusted EUR 34.1 billion in March from a record EUR 37.8 billion in February.

Following a 3-week high of 1.3554 hit at 8:15 am ET against the greenback, the loonie eased off to 1.3598 after the data. If the loonie extends fall, 1.37 is likely seen as its next support level.

Looking ahead, Eurozone preliminary consumer sentiment index for May is due shortly.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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