CANADA FX DEBT-C$ firms as investors prepare for busy week
* Canadian dollar at C$1.1022 or 90.73 U.S. cents * Bond prices mostly lower across the maturity curve By Leah Schnurr TORONTO, April 28 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar firmed against the greenback on Monday, though gains were modest as investors kept an eye on geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and geared up for a busy week of economic data and central bank policy. New sanctions were announced against some Russians in an attempt to stop President Vladimir Putin from fomenting the rebellion in eastern Ukraine. At the same time, pro-Moscow rebels showed no sign of curbing their uprising, seizing public buildings in another town in the east. The developments capped market risk appetite. "There's definitely some political tensions and potential ramifications from another round of sanctions that I think will keep a lid on risk appetite," said Scott Smith, senior market analyst at Cambridge Mercantile Group in Calgary. The Canadian dollar was at C$1.1022 to the greenback, or 90.73 U.S. cents, slightly stronger than Friday's close of C$1.1036, or 90.61 U.S. cents. The currency is likely to trade between C$1.1050 and C$1.0960 for the session, said Smith. The loonie has been trading mostly sideways in recent sessions, hovering around the technically important C$1.10 level as investors weigh modestly improving domestic economic data against a still-neutral Bank of Canada. Investors will get a chance to evaluate that policy stance when Bank of Canada officials testify on Parliament Hill on Tuesday and Wednesday. Governor Stephen Poloz reiterated last week that the central bank's next move on rates could be either up or down. "The big thing whenever Poloz is speaking now is whether he changes his tone or stance in terms of policy," said Smith. "As of right now, the Bank of Canada is officially neutral on interest rates but when Poloz speaks, he usually tends to take the dovish side of neutral. (In) a lot of his undertones, he does reiterate his cautious optimism on the Canadian economy and what needs to happen in order to get us through this trying period." Markets will also be focused on a policy-setting meeting of the Federal Reserve, with the central bank set to continue winding down its stimulus program. The Canadian dollar could also take direction from a slew of U.S. economic data this week, culminating with the April unemployment report at the end of the week. At home, investors will get Canadian monthly gross domestic product data on Wednesday. The Department of Finance said on Monday Canada may issue an ultra long-term bond that matures is 50 years in the near future. The current maximum maturity on federal bonds is 30 years. Canadian government bond prices were mostly lower across the maturity curve, though the two-year was unchanged to yield 1.065 percent, while the benchmark 10-year was off 9 Canadian cents to yield 2.419 percent. (Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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