CANADA FX DEBT-Loonie flat as investors hope for Washington resolution
* C$ at C$1.0394 vs US$, or 96.21 U.S. cents * Investors await resolution on U.S. budget impasse * Bond prices lower across the curve By Leah Schnurr TORONTO, Oct 10 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against the greenback on Thursday amid signs U.S. lawmakers were making progress on a fiscal showdown that has had markets fretting over the possibility of a U.S. default. According to a Republican leadership aide, U.S. House of Representatives Republicans are considering agreeing to a short-term increase in the government's borrowing authority to buy time for negotiations on broader policy measures. A budget impasse in Washington has led to a partial government shutdown, now in its tenth day, and is bringing lawmakers closer to a separate and more crucial mid-October deadline to raise the debt ceiling to avoid a potential default. While it was unclear how long the duration of a short-term increase would be, it would at least stave off a default. Investors are also concerned that the government shutdown will start to bite into economic growth, which could hurt Canada, the largest trading partner with the United States. "The events as they unfold in Washington have really in many respects been the major control over what's happening in the foreign exchange landscape," said Jack Spitz, managing director of foreign exchange at National Bank Financial in Toronto. While the loonie tends to be less volatile than other G10 currencies, an agreement to temporarily raise the debt ceiling would be seen as positive for the risk outlook and would likely lead to a strengthening of the Canadian dollar, said Spitz. Without an agreement in hand, however, the Canadian dollar was unchanged on Thursday morning at the previous session's closing level of C$1.0394, or 96.21 U.S. cents, after three days in a row of declines. At home, data showed prices for new homes in Canada remained tame in August, rising just 0.1 percent. Prices for Canadian government bonds were lower across the maturity curve. The two-year bond slipped 2-1/2 Canadian cents to yield 1.211 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond fell 30 Canadian cents to yield 2.613 percent.
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