CANADA FX DEBT-C$ climbs as Canada eyes budget surplus in 3 yrs

Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:39pm EDT
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* C$ ends at C$0.9967 vs US$, or $1.0033

* Bond prices up across the curve

* Canada eyes budget surplus in 3 years

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, March 29 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar rebounded against the U.S. dollar on Thursday as equities recovered and markets anticipated the release of Canada's federal budget that would highlight the country as a strong investment destination.

Canada opted for the slow road to a balanced budget and kept spending cuts relatively mild in a cautious budget released after the North American session close. It was nonetheless packed with policy reforms that ranged from raising the retirement age to fast-tracking approvals for big oil and mining projects.

"All of it is generally good news for Canada, and is likely to keep our credit rating as triple-A and is likely to focus some attention on Canada as in an important investible destination for those looking for strong sovereigns," said Camilla Sutton, chief currency strategist at Scotia Capital.

Jack Spitz, managing director of foreign exchange at National Bank Financial, said expectations that Canada's budget would emphasize "prosperity versus austerity" helped the Canadian dollar rise into positive territory against the greenback on Thursday even before the plan was released.   Continued...