TORONTO (Reuters) – The Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, giving back some of the previous day’s gains as domestic housing data showed signs of economic damage from the coronavirus outbreak.
Canadian housing starts fell 7.3% in March from the previous month in a sign that the coronavirus outbreak began to hit residential construction activity, data from the national housing agency showed.
The value of Canadian building permits has likely fallen 23.2% year-over-year in March, Statistics Canada said in a preliminary flash estimate.
At 9:24 a.m. (1324 GMT), the Canadian dollar CAD= was trading 0.2% lower at 1.4024 to the greenback, or 71.31 U.S. cents. The currency, which touched on Tuesday an 11-day high at 1.3941, traded in an range of 1.3988 to 1.4081.
A rebound in world stock markets .WORLD lost some momentum as the coronavirus death toll mounted and euro zone finance ministers failed to agree a rescue package to help economies recover from the impact of the outbreak.
Canada will keep up efforts to persuade the United States not to block the export of medical supplies to fight the coronavirus, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday, while the energy-producing province of Alberta warned of an economic disaster.