January 10, 2017 / 2:31 PM / 6 months ago

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ strengthens as oil rises, housing starts jump

3 Min Read

* Canadian dollar at C$1.3216, or 75.67 U.S. cents
    * Bond prices lower across the yield curve

    TORONTO, Jan 10 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar edged higher
against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday as oil rose and
stronger-than-expected domestic housing starts suggested the
country's long housing boom may not yet be over.
    Housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of
207,041 units in December from an upwardly revised 187,273 units
in November, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp said.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected starts to rise to a
195,000 unit pace.    
    Prices of oil, one of Canada's major exports, rose after a
sharp sell-off but analysts said the market looked vulnerable to
further falls. 
    U.S. crude prices were up 0.44 percent at $52.19 a
barrel.
    The U.S. dollar steadied against a basket of major
currencies amid investor doubts that U.S. President-elect Donald
Trump's first news conference on Wednesday will take an
aggressive line on issues such as trade policy and relations
with China. 
    At 9:17 a.m. ET (1417 GMT), the Canadian dollar was
trading at C$1.3216 to the greenback, or 75.67 U.S. cents,
slightly stronger than Monday's close of C$1.3230, or 75.59 U.S.
cents.
    The currency's weakest level of the session was C$1.3257,
while its strongest was C$1.3199.
    On Friday, the loonie reached its strongest point in more
than three weeks at C$1.3177 following surprisingly strong
domestic employment and trade data.
    Still, foreign exchange strategists expect the loonie to
weaken over the coming year, pressured by trade agreement
uncertainty and probable monetary policy divergence between the
Federal Reserve and the Bank of Canada. 
    The value of Canadian building permits edged 0.1 percent
lower in November due to lower construction intentions in
Alberta following a surge the month before ahead of provincial
building code changes, data from Statistics Canada showed.
 
    Canadian government bond prices were lower across the yield 
curve, with the two-year price down 2.5 Canadian
cents to yield 0.763 percent and the benchmark 10-year
 falling 9 Canadian cents to yield 1.691 percent.

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Bill Trott)

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