CANADA FX DEBT-C$ retreats after Bernanke, Bank of Canada comments
* C$ at C$1.0404 vs US$, or 96.12 U.S. cents * Bank of Canada holds interest rate at 1 pct * Next move is up, conditions outlined for steady rates -BoC * Bernanke expects to trim bond buys but timing not preset * Bond prices rise across curve By Solarina Ho TORONTO, July 17 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened against a broadly stronger U.S. dollar on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank was flexible on bond buying and the Bank of Canada outlined conditions for holding interest rates steady. Under new Governor Stephen Poloz, the Bank of Canada's policy announcement stayed close to his predecessor Mark Carney's message that borrowing costs will eventually rise, but was more explicit in highlighting the factors that will impact policy. Darcy Briggs, a portfolio manager at Bissett Investment Management, part of Franklin Templeton Investments, noted the statement showed a more neutral, data-dependent stance. Still, he and other market watchers said the bank's overall message has not changed significantly. "The release was consistent with our view that the Bank of Canada is pretty much on the sidelines until the Fed move ... You've got David and Goliath. What happens in the States has a very significant impact here," said Briggs. "The (Canadian dollar) did sell off, but then again, the - the U.S. basket of currencies - it spiked up. So was it a Canadian story, or was it a U.S. dollar story because of Bernanke speaking? Difficult to discern." The Canadian dollar, which was underperforming against all major currencies, retreated to C$1.0404 versus the U.S. dollar, or 96.12 U.S. cents at 12:51 p.m. (1651 GMT). This was weaker than Tuesday's North American close at C$1.0366, or 96.47 U.S. cents. The U.S. dollar strengthened as Bernanke stayed close to the time frame he first outlined last month over how soon the Fed may start scaling back its massive bond purchase program, but he emphasized that the timing was not set in stone, highlighting the risks of weak inflation on the economy. Following the Bank of Canada decision and governor's comments, traders slightly bid up the price of shorter-term Canadian government bonds, sending yields lower. The move showed there was little concern the central bank will rush to increase interest rates. The price of the two-year bond was up 6.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.087 percent and the benchmark 10-year bond climbing 33 Canadian cents to yield 2.369 percent.
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