CANADA FX DEBT-C$ ends little changed after Fed decision, oil weighs

Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:26pm EDT
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* Canadian dollar settles at C$1.3191, or 75.81 U.S. cents
    * Bond prices higher across the maturity curve

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, July 27 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar ended
barely weaker against the U.S. currency on Wednesday,
stabilizing after a recent string of declines, as the U.S.
Federal Reserve held rates steady and oil prices fell.
    The Canadian currency settled at C$1.3191 to the
greenback, or 75.81 U.S. cents, just weaker than the Bank of
Canada's official close of C$1.3189, or 75.82 U.S. cents on
    The Fed said near-term risks to its outlook had diminished,
as investors sought to judge whether a rate hike might come in
September or December.  
    "It's a bit of a nod that things have improved," said Mazen
Issa, senior foreign exchange strategist at TD Securities. "But
I think the market needs to get through the (Bank of Japan)
meeting later this week to really get a sense of where the
balance of risks lie."
    The Japanese central bank is under pressure to add monetary
stimulus to the $265 billion fiscal stimulus the country's
government unveiled on Wednesday. 
    A sharp fall in the price of oil, a major Canadian export,
also weighed on the loonie, as Canada's currency is colloquially
     Oil tumbled 3 percent, hitting three-month lows as U.S.
crude and gasoline stocks surged on weak demand during the peak
summer driving season. 
    "Certainly commodity prices are not helping the domestic
economy," Issa said.
    The currency touched its weakest level in nearly four months
earlier in the week and has lost about 2 percent in July as oil
prices drifted lower.
    The Canadian economic calendar is light until Friday, when
gross domestic product data will be released for May. The
economy is forecast to have shrunk 0.4 percent in the month,
hurt by wildfires in Alberta. 
    Canadian government bond prices were higher across the
maturity curve, with the two-year price up 3.5
Canadian cents to yield 0.578 percent and the benchmark 10-year
 rising 44 Canadian cents to yield 1.077 percent.
    The Canada-U.S. two-year bond spread narrowed to -14 basis
points, while the 10-year spread came in to -42.2 basis points.

 (Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Nick
Zieminski and Jeffrey Hodgson)