Canadian dollar slumps in November as Fed mulls faster taper



* Loonie touches its weakest since Sept. 21 at 1.2837

* Price of U.S. oil settles 5.4% lower

* Canada's economy grows 5.4% in the third quarter

* Canadian bond yields trade mixed across a flatter curve

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO, Nov 30 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened to its lowest level in 10 weeks against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday as hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell offset data showing stronger than expected growth in the domestic economy.

Wall Street's main indexes extended declines in choppy trading after Powell said the risk of higher inflation has increased and that it was appropriate to consider wrapping up tapering a few months sooner.

"The idea of a Federal Reserve speeding up its normalisation cycle at a time when global growth is subject to such a downside risk provides a nasty mix for pro-cyclical currencies like the loonie," said Simon Harvey, senior FX market analyst for Monex Europe and Monex Canada.

Canada is a major exporter of commodities, including oil, so the loonie tends to be sensitive to shifts in the economic cycle.

Oil tumbled after the CEO of drugmaker Moderna MRNA.O cast doubt on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines against the Omicron coronavirus variant.

U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 settled down 5.4% at $66.18 a barrel, while the Canadian dollar was trading 0.4% lower at 1.2787 to the greenback, or 78.20 U.S. cents. The currency touched its weakest intraday level since Sept. 21 at 1.2837.

For the month, the loonie was down 3.1%, its biggest decline since March 2020.

Canada's economy grew 5.4% in the third quarter on an annualized basis, beating analyst expectations, and growth most likely accelerated in October on a manufacturing rebound, Statistics Canada data showed.

Canadian government bond yields were mixed across a flatter curve, tracking the move in U.S. Treasuries.

The 2-year rate CA2YT=RR rose 3.2 basis points to 0.991%, while the 10-year CA10YT=RR hit its lowest intraday level since Oct. 7 at 1.503% before recovering to 1.563%, down 5.1 basis points on the day.
Reporting by Fergal Smith Editing by Nick Zieminski

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