CANADA FX DEBT-C$ slips ahead of Fed's Yellen and Bank of Canada's Poloz

Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:56am EST
 
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* Canadian dollar at C$1.2622 or 79.23 U.S. cents
    * Bond prices mostly lower across the maturity curve

    By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, Feb 24 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened
against the greenback for a fifth straight session on Tuesday as
markets awaited comments from the heads of the Canadian and U.S.
central banks, seeking clues on when the two banks will make
their next interest rate moves.
    Janet Yellen will give the U.S. Federal Reserve's
semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to the Senate Banking
Committee at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT), with investors hoping to
get more guidance on when the Fed will make its first rate hike
since 2006. 
    Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz will hold a press
conference in the afternoon, and markets will look for clues on
if, or when, the bank will cut rates again following its
surprise 0.25 basis point cut in January. The market is pricing
in a nearly 76 percent chance of another cut next week.
    The Canadian dollar has been under pressure as slumping oil
prices weigh on the country's crude-exporting economy, and the
monetary policies of Canada and its largest trading partner
diverge.
    At 9:34 a.m. (1434 GMT), the Canadian dollar, which
was underperforming most of its key counterparts, was at
C$1.2622 to the greenback, or 79.23 U.S. cents, softer than
Monday's finish of C$1.2576, or 79.52 U.S. cents.
    "Assuming we don't see a significant deviation in oil
prices, then I would think dips in USD/CAD today will be worth
buying into," said Jeremy Stretch, head of foreign exchange
strategy at CIBC World Markets in London.
    CIBC expects the Canadian dollar to hit C$1.30 by the middle
part of this year, and Stretch predicts the currency will
retreat to a near six-year low of C$1.28 or more in the coming
sessions.
    "It's a question is how quickly we'll get there," he said.
"The timing of that C$1.30 target will be very much dependent on
how quickly Fed tightens. I would still prefer to be playing
USD/CAD from the long side."
    Canadian government bond prices were mostly lower across the
maturity curve, with the two-year off 4.5 Canadian
cents to yield 0.410 percent and the benchmark 10-year
 falling 17 Canadian cents to yield 1.374 percent.

 (Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Galloway)