CANADA FX DEBT-C$ steady as Greece hope supports, downgrade drags
* C$ at C$0.9965 vs US$, or $1.0035 * Supported by optimism Greece will receive aid funding * Moody's downgrade of France hurts riskier assets * Canadian wholesale trade unexpectedly falls in Sept * Oct U.S. housing starts rise to highest rate in more than four years By Solarina Ho TORONTO, Nov 20 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, supported by cautious optimism that debt-ridden Greece was on track to receive aid funding, with North American economic data having little impact. The euro was steady as the Greece news offset Moody's downgrade of France's prized triple-A rating on Monday. The ratings agency cited an uncertain fiscal outlook and deteriorating economy for the cut. Finance ministers meet on Tuesday to discuss unlocking delayed aid payments to Greece, a day after Athens passed laws to enforce budget targets and appease foreign lenders. "The bigger news will be if they don't get their money. You'll see a much a stronger market reaction than if they do get their money because the market's probably operating on the assumption that they will," said Matt Perrier, director of foreign exchange sales at BMO Capital Markets. "It's a relatively tight range - 20 points - basically in consolidation mode. The market seems for the time being shrugging off the French downgrade." At 8:34 a.m. (1334 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading at C$0.9965 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0035, nearly unchanged from Monday's North American finish of C$0.9966, or $1.0034. It's performance was mixed against other major currencies, outperforming its commodities-linked counterparts like the Australian dollar, but underperforming the euro . Canada's dollar was likely to trade between C$0.9935 and C$0.9995 and test the stronger end of the range, Perrier said. He saw the next Canadian dollar resistance level around C$0.9890 to C$0.9900. The currency showed little reaction to news Canadian wholesale trade unexpectedly fell 1.4 percent in September from August, while U.S. housing starts rose to their highest rate in more than four years in October. "We've seen some bigger things overnight that haven't moved the market, so we'll pay attention to what we've been paying attention to for the last little while -- equities and risk appetite," said Perrier. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is set to speak later today, which could turn market focus toward Fed policy. Perrier said Bernanke always has the potential to be market moving, but was not expected to make any new announcements. Prices for Canadian government debt were lower across the curve, with the two-year bond off half a Canadian cent to yield 1.099 percent and the benchmark 10-year bond unchanged to yield 1.737 percent.
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