The Canadian dollar registered wide losses today against its U.S. rival after a batch of mixed data, showing retail sales tumbling 2.2% m/m in December, the worst monthly fall since the midst of the financial crisis in 2009, while on the other hand however, CPI rose unexpectedly by 0.2% m/m in January, beating expectations of a flat result.
Loonie traders were struck more by the bleak retail data, driving the currency 0.70% lower to trade at 1.3820, away from a two-week high hit yesterday at 1.3650, but still heading for a small weekly gain however of 0.17%.
Oil prices on other hand reversed sharply lower today, with traders worried about record U.S. crude inventories last week. Brent crude futures dropped 83 cents, or 2.33% to $33.47 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediary (WTI) crude futures gave up 94 cents, or 2.85% to trade below $32 at $31.95 a barrel.
Earlier data from the U.S. painted a positive picture, with the Consumer Price index coming flat in January, beating expectations of a 0.1% fall, while Core CPI rose the most in several years by 0.3%, compared to analysts' expectations of a 0.2% rise, and the previous reading's 0.1% growth.
The dollar index scored some gains, brushing with an 11-day high before stepping back to 96.97, up 0.14% on the day, while euro slipped nearly 0.1% against the greenback to 1.1099. Sterling plunged half a percent to hover around 1.4263, burdened by worries over Britain's future in the European Union.