CANADA FX DEBT-C$ edges higher, trade light before U.S. holiday
* C$ ends at C$0.9965 versus US$, or $1.0035 * Commodity prices, stocks also gain * No agreement yet over loans to Greece * U.S. data paints mixed picture By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, Nov 21 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar eked out a slight gain against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, mirroring a modest rise in stock and commodity prices, even as international lenders failed to come to agreement over loans to debt-ridden Greece. Investors appeared content with assurances that a debt deal with Greece was near, while the upcoming U.S. Thanksgiving holiday limited trade volumes between the North American currencies. Analysts said given the holiday and other factors, it appeared unlikely the Canadian currency would extend gains much further in the near term. "People are focusing away from Aussie and Canada, the commodities-based currencies don't seem to be the play at the moment," said Darcy Browne, managing director of foreign exchange sales at CIBC World Markets. He pointed to robust interest in euro and yen trades given the potential for a change of government in Japan and the ongoing negotiations over loans for Greece. "Looking at bigger picture stuff like the S&P below 1,400 and oil below $90 I don't know if there's any real reason to run out there and buy the Canadian dollar at these levels," he said. The Canadian dollar closed trade at C$0.9965 versus the greenback, or $1.0035, marginally stronger than Tuesday's North American session finish of C$0.9973, or $1.0027. The currency was confined to a tight range between C$0.9950 and parity as buyers and sellers emerged at either end of that range, Browne said. The euro recovered after a slide following a meeting of euro zone finance ministers, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank which ended without agreement on the next tranche of loans to Athens. "There's a lot of the concern with what's going on with Greece overnight ... It's creating a bit more uncertainty on that front," said Charles St-Arnaud, economist and currency strategist with Nomura Securities in New York. "I'm actually surprised how resilient the Canadian dollar has been over the past few weeks." "The Canadian dollar has been trading a lot with risk appetite over the last few days and weeks. With all the uncertainty it's still a bit hard to see a big rally," said St-Arnaud. Canada's dollar performed better than the Australian dollar and yen, hitting its strongest level in nearly 7 months against the Japanese currency. But it weakened against the pound and Swiss franc. Data out of the United States on Wednesday painted a mixed picture, with manufacturing growing at its quickest pace in five months and unemployment claims dropping, while consumer sentiment stalled as worries grow about looming automatic tax hikes and government spending cuts. Prices for Canadian government debt were weaker across the curve, with the two-year bond off 1 Canadian cent to yield 1.120 percent and the benchmark 10-year bond slipping 11 Canadian cents to yield 1.769 percent.
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