The Canadian dollar strengthened against other major currencies in the Asian session on Monday, as Asian stock markets traded higher, following the lack of any major cues from global markets which were closed for Good Friday, boosted by strong gains in China after domestic data showed manufacturing purchasing managers index expanded in March for the first time since September.

Traders also reacted to U.S. inflation data released on Friday that increased by slightly less than expected in February.

U.S. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said at a conference on Friday that the data was 'pretty much in line with expectations' and that the U.S. central bank is in no hurry to cut interest rates. He acknowledged the risks of leaving interest rates where they are now, but nevertheless emphasized the need for consistent inflation control towards a 2 percent target.

Meanwhile, most stock markets are closed in account of Easter Monday holiday.

In the Asian trading now, the Canadian dollar rose to near 2-week highs of 1.3515 against the U.S. dollar and 111.98 against the yen, from last week's closing quotes of 1.3537 and 111.76, respectively. If the loonie extends its uptrend, it is likely to find resistance around 1.34 against the greenback and 113.00 against the yen.

Against the euro and the Australian dollar, the loonie edged up to 1.4590 and 0.8817 from Friday's closing quotes of 1.4608 and 0.8827, respectively. The loonie may test resistance near 1.44 against the euro and 0.87 against the aussie.

Looking ahead, U.S. and Canada manufacturing PMI reports for March and U.S. construction spending for February are slated for release in the New York session.

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