CANADA FX DEBT-C$ firms ahead of Nexen deal closing; G20 in focus
* C$ at $1.0018 vs US$, or 99.82 U.S. cents * Nexen deal closes Feb 25, could boost the C$ * Currency talk at the G20 meeting in Moscow this weekend in focus By Solarina Ho TORONTO, Feb 13 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was marginally firmer against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, but with little domestic news on the agenda it was expected to be mostly sidelined until the $15.1 billion takeover of Canadian oil producer Nexen Inc by China's CNOOC Ltd closes later this month. "It's generally been a quiet trading session today. There's not a lot of headline flow today," said Mazen Issa, a macro strategist at TD Securities. The Canadian dollar got a slight boost on Tuesday after U.S. regulators approved the CNOOC takeover, the final hurdle the deal faced. It is expected to close the week of Feb. 25 and could generate buying of Canadian dollars to pay Canadian investors for their shares. "People took [the Nexen approval] to mean that there should be some Canada-positive flow. Although it's very unclear as to what that flow's going to be," said John Curran, senior vice president at CanadianForex. If the Nexen deal does support the currency, Curran said it could be an excellent opportunity to sell the Canadian dollar in the medium term, given Canada's recent sluggish economic data and the Bank of Canada's more dovish stance. The currency closed the North American session at C$1.0018 versus the U.S. dollar, or 99.82 U.S. cents, slightly firmer than Tuesday's finish of C$1.0027, or 99.73 U.S. cents. "I think we are going to be sort of sidelined and remain within this range until the 25th," Curran said. The Canadian dollar strengthened against the euro and the yen on Wednesday and reached its strongest level against sterling in more than five months. "The Canadian dollar isn't the major story out there when you look at all the other currencies and what they are doing. So we may be dragged around a little bit by the nose due to cross-flows, which will all filter through to us," Curran said. The yen was flat against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, after rising sharply the day before, with investors growing cautious ahead of a key meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers this weekend in Moscow. Exchange rates and the yen will likely be in the spotlight.. Policymakers and investors worry that the new Japanese government's push on its central bank for a looser monetary policy, which has weakened the yen, could trigger currency wars. Issa, however, said the G20 historically does not generate currency-moving news. He expects Canada's dollar to trade between parity with the U.S. dollar and C$1.0050 in the near term. Canadian government bonds fell across the curve, with the price of the two-year bond down 5 Canadian cents, yielding 1.148 percent, and the benchmark 10-year bond down 35 Canadian cents, with a yield of 2.037 percent.
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