CANADA FX DEBT-C$ softens as U.S. data offsets Fed

Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:06pm EDT
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* C$ ends at C$0.9949 vs US$, or $1.0051
    * U.S. data counters dovish Fed outlook
    * Bond prices mostly higher

    By Jon Cook	
    TORONTO, March 27 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar gave back
some gains against the U.S. currency on Tuesday following a
strong rally in the previous session and U.S. data eased
concerns of more stimulus from the Federal Reserve that had
weakened the greenback.	
    The U.S. dollar rebounded on Tuesday from its lowest level
in nearly a month after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Monday
the policy of very low interest rates was needed to reduce
unemployment, making it clear he was in no rush to reverse
     The greenback was helped by U.S. data that showed home
prices were unchanged month-over-month for the first time since
July, a sign the battered housing market is stabilizing. Also, a
private sector report showed U.S. consumer confidence dipped in
March but was nearly in line with forecasts. 	
    "We don't have a lot of top-tier numbers for the market to
hang its hat on," said Stewart Hall, senior currency strategist
at Royal Bank of Canada. "It's such a tight range that it's not
really indicative of anything other than watching risk sentiment
slide back a bit here."	
    The Canadian dollar ended the North American
session at C$0.9949 versus the U.S. dollar, or $1.0051, down
from Monday's close at C$0.9912 versus the greenback, or
    Until the Canadian government releases its 2012-13 fiscal
budget on Thursday, Hall said there was little to move the
Canadian currency out of its window between parity with the U.S.
dollar and C$0.99 against the U.S., or $1.01.	
    Canada's resource-heavy currency also was hurt by a dip in
Brent crude oil and as gold eased off its two-week highs on
    Analysts said the dollar could suffer further in the short
term if speculation about the prospect of further mass bond
buying, or quantitative easing (QE), persists. However, if U.S.
data continues to point to an economic recovery the currency
could start to push higher again. 	
    "(Bernanke) is flagging the issue that the labor market
remains far from being improved and that would be a key issue to
doing more QE, which right now is looking quite remote," said
Mazen Issa, macro strategist at TD Securities. 	
    Europe's debt crisis will also return to the forefront later
in the week as investors focus on a weekend meeting of euro-zone
finance ministers in Copenhagen and Spain's budget presentation
on Friday.  	
    Lower risk appetite pushed most Canadian bond prices higher.
Canada's two-year bond rose 8 Canadian cents to yield
1.212 percent. The 10-year bond was up 55 Canadian
cents to yield 2.126 percent.