C$ trades little changed after touching 2-1/2-month high

Thu May 9, 2013 9:57am EDT
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By Andrea Hopkins

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed on Thursday after briefly touching its strongest level in more than two months, building on a steady appreciation towards parity with its U.S. counterpart ahead of Friday's key domestic jobs report.

Global stock markets held near multi-year highs as relatively upbeat economic data and ongoing support from central banks help buoy investor sentiment, though currency moves were mostly subdued. <MKTS/GLOB>

"Most currencies, with the exception of Australia and New Zealand, are very close to where they closed yesterday. Markets are pretty quiet, we haven't had a ton of news flow, and we're really just digesting the host of second-tier but important central bank meetings and commentaries this week," said Camilla Sutton, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars bounced higher following stellar labor reports in both countries, paring back the risk of a June rate cut in Australia and reinforcing the outlook for steady to higher New Zealand rates. <AUD/>

The Canadian dollar continued its slow-and-steady appreciation against the U.S. greenback, inching towards parity. The currency has gained some 2-1/2 cents on the U.S. dollar since late April.

At 9:24 a.m. EDT (1324 GMT) the Canadian dollar was at C$1.0029, or 99.71 U.S. cents, slightly stronger than Wednesday's North American session close at C$1.0033, or 99.67 U.S. cents.

Overnight the currency hit C$1.0014 to the greenback, its strongest level since February 15, and Sutton said the Canadian dollar could test parity.

"Momentum seems fairly strong. When we look at CAD on the chart most technical studies suggest CAD is appreciating. Every day we seem to be reaching, in dollar-Canada (terms), lower lows and lower highs," she said.   Continued...