CANADA FX DEBT-C$ held in check by trade data, Greece

Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:09am EDT
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* C$ at C$0.9915 vs US$, or $1.0085
    * Bond prices mostly higher

    By Jon Cook	
    TORONTO, March 19 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little
changed against its U.S. counterpart o n M onday as a stronger
greenback kept riskier currencies in check and soft Canadian
trade data and nervousness over a looming Greek bond auction
weighed on sentiment.	
    Recently, the U.S. dollar has been boosted by a slew of
encouraging U.S. economic data, reducing the likelihood of
further stimulus from the Federal Reserve.	
    "We're picking up where we left off on Friday," said Don
Mikolich, executive director of foreign exchange sales at CIBC
World Markets. "In the absence of any real significant
fundamental news here, we're probably going to be fairly
rangebound and drifting a little bit."	
    As currency traders looked ahead to this week's Canadian
retail sales and consumer pricing numbers, data on Monday showed
Canada's wholesale trade slumped a worse-than-expected 1 percent
in January from December, the second decline in three months
following six consecutive gains. 	
    However the news did not have much impact on the Canadian
    At 8:45 a.m. (1245 GMT), the Canadian dollar was at
C$0.9915 versus the U.S. dollar, or $1.0085, little changed from
Friday's North American session close at C$0.9919 versus the
U.S. dollar, or $1.0082.	
    Mikolich said he saw the Canadian dollar holding within a
tight range between C$0.9990 and C$0.9840.	
    Overall, appetite for riskier growth-oriented assets
remained strong, reflected by last week's strong performance by
U.S. and European stocks and a big sell-off of Canadian
government bonds and U.S. Treasuries driven by expectations for
stronger growth in the U.S. economy.  	
    However, Canadian government bond prices were up on Monday
on slightly lower risk sentiment as market watchers looked ahead
to more important economic data later in the week and showed
some trepidation about Tuesday's Greek debt swap.	
    The preliminary price set at an auction to decide the payout
due to holders of Greek default insurance on Monday showed
investors fear for the country's financial future even after a
debt restructuring and aid packages. 	
    "If not well received, it will bring (Europe's) debt
problems back to the radar screens," said Mikolich.
"Particularly with Portugal, Spain and Italy in the wings still
to be addressed over the next while, so you would see a bit of
that risk-off trade."	
    The two-year bond was up three Canadian cents to
yield 1.270 percent. The 10-year bond rose two
Canadian cents to yield 2.239 percent, but was still close to a
five-month high.