CANADA FX DEBT-C$ steady as markets await Fed, eye oil and rouble risks

Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:52am EST
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* Canadian dollar at C$1.1632 or 85.97 U.S. cents
    * Bond prices mixed across the maturity curve

    By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little
changed against the greenback on Wednesday as markets waited to
hear what kind of tone the U.S. Federal Reserve will adopt in
its policy statement later in the session.
    Markets are trying to gauge when the Fed will start to raise
interest rates and have zeroed in on its often-used phrase
"considerable time" to see if it keeps that language in its
final policy statement of 2014. The statement is set to be
released at the end of a two-day Fed meeting at 2 p.m. EST (1900
    "A lot of potential volatility ahead, but for now, a lot of
consolidation ahead of that. A calm before the storm," said Greg
Moore, senior currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets, noting
that the Canadian dollar will be taking its cues from moves in
the U.S. dollar.
    "(The Fed's statement) is probably one of the biggest event
risks on the calendar into the end of the year. There's high
hopes for decent shift from the message from the Fed."
    At 9:18 a.m. or (1418 GMT), the Canadian dollar was
at C$1.1632 to the greenback, or 85.97 U.S. cents, little
changed from Tuesday's finish of C$1.1636, or 85.94 U.S. cents. 
    The Canadian currency, which remains near lows not seen in
5-1/2 years, has been pulled down by plummeting crude prices.
Canada is a major exporter of oil and the commodity has lost
nearly half its value over the last six months on an excess of
    The Russian rouble, hit by cheap oil and Western sanctions
over Ukraine, fell dramatically against the U.S. dollar earlier
this week after a failed attempt to prop the currency sparked a
crisis in confidence in Russia's central bank.
    Any fresh developments in the oil-price retreat or the fall
of the rouble could divert some attention from the Fed, Moore
    Canadian government bond prices were mixed across the
maturity curve with most short term treasury bills slightly
higher and longer term bonds lower. The two-year bond
was off 1.5 Canadian cents to yield 0.960 percent and the
benchmark 10-year was down 7 Canadian cents to yield
1.756 percent.

 (Editing by Peter Galloway)