- Canadian dollar strengthens 0.4% against the greenback
- Touches its highest since May 8 at 1.3322
- BoC hikes interest rates by 25 basis points
- 2-year yield jumps to highest since July 2001
TORONTO, June 7 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened to a four-week high against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday as investors bet that the Bank of Canada would continue to raise interest rates next month after it tightened for the first time since January.
The Canadian central bank hiked its benchmark rate by 25 basis points to 4.75%, the highest level in 22 years, on increasing concerns that inflation could get stuck significantly above its 2% target amid persistently strong economic growth.
"The tone of the statement was pretty hawkish, which is not a surprise given the recent data flow," Benjamin Reitzes, Canadian rates & macro strategist at BMO Capital Markets, said in a note. "If the data remain firm over the coming few weeks, another 25 basis point hike in July looks likely."
Money markets see a roughly 60% chance of another rate increase in July and have fully priced in further tightening by September.
The Canadian dollar was trading 0.4% higher at 1.3350 to the greenback, or 74.91 U.S. cents, after touching its strongest intraday level since May 8 at 1.3322.
Adding to support for the loonie was data showing that Canada's exports jumped 2.5% in April and hit an all-time high by volume.
The price of oil , one of Canada's major exports, climbed 1% to $72.46 a barrel, supported by Saudi Arabia's surprise weekend pledge to deepen output cuts.
The Canadian dollar is set to rally to 1.29 in a year, according to the median forecast of nearly 40 currency analysts in a Reuters poll.
The Canadian 2-year yield jumped to its highest level since July 2001 at 4.781% before easing back to 4.587%, up 19.3 basis points on the day. That put it as high as the equivalent U.S. rate for the first time since September.
Reporting by Fergal Smith, Editing by Nick Zieminski