Canadian dollar firms; focus still on Europe
By Allison Martell
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's dollar firmed against the greenback on Thursday, recovering from a late slide that mirrored U.S. equity markets on Wednesday, but investors remained focused on Sunday's election in Greece.
Global markets are expected to be choppy as traders position ahead of the crucial vote, and on broader worries about the euro zone debt crisis. <MKTS/GLOB>
Adam Cole, head of foreign exchange strategy at Royal Bank of Canada in London, said he did not see the morning's Canadian and U.S. data or news out of Europe materially affecting Canada's currency.
"I think there's a reluctance for anyone to take a strong view ahead of the potentially very important events at the weekend, and the closer we get to that the less appetite there is to position one way or the other," said Cole.
At about 9:06 a.m. (1306 GMT) Canada's dollar was at C$1.0252, or 97.54 U.S. cents, compared with Wednesday's close at C$1.0292, or 97.16 U.S. cents. The currency was little changed through much of Wednesday's session, but weakened heading into the close.
Cole saw the dollar continuing in the week's range through Friday, between about C$1.02 and C$1.032.
Data released on Thursday showed that the price of new homes in Canada rose 0.2 percent in April, slightly below the 0.3 percent rise forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, the latest data pointing to sluggish conditions in the United States.
Canada's bond prices were mostly lower. Canada's two-year bond fell 3 Canadian cents to yield 1.044 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond fell 15 Canadian cents, yielding 1.784 percent.
(Editing by James Dalgleish)
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