CANADA FX DEBT-Oil surge helps C$ counter Canada GDP contraction

Fri May 29, 2015 5:04pm EDT
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(Adds strategist's comment, updated prices)

* Canadian dollar at $1.2437, or 80.41 U.S. cents

* Bond prices higher across the maturity curve

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, May 29 (Reuters) - A surge in the price of crude oil helped keep the Canadian dollar steady on Friday, shrugging off data showing the Canadian economy contracted in the first quarter.

While bond markets rose after the gross domestic product data on bets that there is more of a chance that the Bank of Canada will cut interest rates this year, the currency's early-session losses were canceled out as crude oil prices jumped almost 5 percent on Friday.

Canada is a major oil exporter.

"The bounce-back in oil prices, for now, has provided an offset to what was a pretty damning GDP report," said Mark Chandler, head of Canadian fixed income and currency strategy at Royal Bank of Canada.

The Canadian dollar ended the session trading at C$1.2437 to the greenback, or 80.41 U.S. cents, just weaker than Thursday's close of C$1.2435, or 80.42 U.S. cents. It slipped more than 1 percent over the week.   Continued...