The U.S. dollar turned lower against its Canadian counterpart on Thursday, but losses were expected to remain limited as hopes for a 2016 U.S. rate hike continued to boost the greenback, while lower oil prices and disappointing Canadian data weighed on the local currency.
The U.S. Department of Labor said on Thursday that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending October 8 held steady at 246,000. Analysts expected jobless claims to rise by 8,000 to 254,000 last week.
Separately, the greenback remained broadly supported after the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s September policy meeting released on Wednesday showed several voting members of the policy committee judged a rate hike would be warranted “relatively soon” if the U.S. economy continued to strengthen.
In Canada, data on Thursday showed that new housing prices rose 0.2% in August, disappointing expectations for an increase of 0.3%, after a 0.4% gain the previous month.
The Canadian dollar was also affected by a decline in oil prices, after OPEC said its production rose to the highest level in at least eight years in September and following reports of an increase in U.S. crude stockpiles.