CANADA FX DEBT-C$ at 4-yr low as Bank of Canada leaves door open for rate cut
* Canadian dollar at C$1.1042 or 90.56 U.S. cents * Bond prices mostly higher across the maturity curve By Leah Schnurr TORONTO, Jan 22 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar tumbled to a more than four-year low against the greenback on Wednesday after the Bank of Canada signaled it is more concerned about weak inflation than it was three months ago and left the door open to an interest rate cut if risks worsen. The Bank held interest rates at 1 percent, as expected, but said that its next move on rates could be either down or up, depending on how the data unfolds. "It's probably as dovish as they could go without adopting an outright easing bias," said David Tulk, chief Canada macro strategist at TD Securities in Toronto. The loonie has lost more than 6 percent since late October last year when the Bank of Canada shifted policy by dropping any talk of interest rate hikes after 18 months of signaling that policy tightening was on the horizon. The sell-off has deepened since the start of the year. Just three weeks into 2014, the U.S. dollar has appreciated more than 3 percent against the Canadian dollar. The Canadian dollar was at C$1.1042 to the greenback, or 90.56 U.S. cents, weaker than Tuesday's close of C$1.0972, or 91.14 U.S. cents. The loonie hit a session low of C$1.1049 shortly after the bank announcement, its weakest level since September 2009. "There is a lot of reference to the depreciation of the Canadian dollar and how that is expected to help exports, but they also reference the persistent strength of the Canadian dollar, saying that it remains strong and will continue to pose challenges for Canada's non-commodity exports," said Camilla Sutton, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto "In a sense, they are saying that they still see the Canadian dollar as fairly strong, even at these levels." Canadian government bond prices were mostly higher across the maturity curve, with the two-year up 3 Canadian cents to yield 1.017 percent and the benchmark 10-year up 8 Canadian cents to yield 2.498 percent.
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