CANADA FX DEBT-C$ firms after Fed minutes, Bernanke

Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:14pm EDT
 
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* C$ closes at C$1.0518 vs US$, or 95.08 U.S. cents
    * FOMC minutes more dovish than expected
    * Bond yields rise across curve

    By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, July 10 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar ended
firmer against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday after Federal
Reserve minutes showed the central bank was more dovish than
expected.
    The currency strengthened further after markets closed as
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke, trading as firm as C$1.0474
versus the U.S. dollar, or 95.47 U.S. cents.
    Bernanke said that a "highly accommodative policy is needed
for the foreseeable future," saying that the country's
unemployment rate may be overstating the health of the labor
market.
    The currency briefly hit its firmest level in about two
weeks against a tumbling greenback after the release of minutes
of the Federal Reserve's June policy meeting showed many
officials wanted more reassurance that the recovery in the labor
market would hold before pulling back on stimulus.
 
    "It was probably as discombobulated as any other currency
right after the minutes came out," said David Bradley, director
of foreign exchange trading at Scotiabank. 
    "It seemed like it was very much driven by positioning -
covering stale positions," he added, calling the Canadian
dollar's brief move below C$1.0450 to C$1.0446, or 95.73 U.S.
cents, a surprise.
    The Canadian dollar finished the North American
session at C$1.0518 versus its U.S. counterpart, or 95.08 U.S.
cents, slightly stronger than Tuesday's close at C$1.0526, or 95
U.S. cents. 
    Financial markets were largely expecting the Fed to start
cutting back the pace of its $85 billion monthly bond purchases
in September, but the minutes released on Wednesday suggest that
is not a guarantee.
    In Canada, the Bank of Canada is expected to keep its
tightening bias in the first interest rate decision under new
Governor Stephen Poloz, but slow growth and low inflation means
a rate hike is not seen until the fourth quarter of 2014, a
Reuters poll showed.  
    Prices for Canadian government debt were mixed as Bernanke's
comments were digested. The two-year bond was flat
with a yield of 1.147 percent. The benchmark 10-year bond
 reversed course to rise 2 Canadian cents, yielding
2.475 percent.