CANADA FX DEBT-C$ snaps higher on U.S. data, Greek hope

Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:42pm EST
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* C$ climbs to C$0.9960 vs US$, or $1.0040

* Bond prices edge lower

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was higher against the greenback on Thursday afternoon, surging up from a two-week low earlier in the day on upbeat U.S. economic data and optimism that European leaders could be nearing a deal to avoid a Greek debt default.

The currency followed overseas equity markets and the euro higher after a euro zone official said EU leaders were putting the finishing touches on a second debt bailout for Greece.

Also supporting the currency was firmness in U.S. stocks, which rose on upbeat U.S. jobs, manufacturing and housing data.

"The Canadian dollar is up almost a cent from its lows this morning, the euro had a huge rally and commodities have had a strong performance," said Blake Jespersen, a managing director of foreign exchange sales at BMO Capital Markets.

"All that helped lift the Canadian dollar. Not a Canadian dollar story, but it did follow the moves in other commodity-based currencies and the overall risk sentiment."

At 1:25 p.m. (1825 GMT) the Canadian dollar stood at C$0.9960 versus the U.S. dollar, or $1.0040, up from Wednesday's North American close of C$0.9991 versus the U.S. dollar, or $1.0009.   Continued...