CANADA FX DEBT-C$ closes little changed, lower oil prices weigh
* Canadian dollar at C$1.1233 or 89.02 U.S. cents * Bond prices mixed across the maturity curve (Adds analyst comment, updates prices to close) By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar gave up early gains against the U.S. greenback to close flat on Friday, with traders exhibiting a dogged determination to sell the currency on any gains. It gained 0.4 percent for the week. The loonie, as Canada's currency is colloquially known, was expected to weaken further due to lower oil prices and worries about the results of European bank stress tests that are due at the weekend. "The Canadian dollar tried and failed to rally for the fourth day in a row," said Adam Button, a currency analyst at ForexLive in Montreal. Prices for Canadian oil and gas fell even as the Brent global benchmark paused a months-long rout. "The overarching story in the past two months has been U.S. dollar strength, but I think the Canadian part of that is a commodity and resource story. Canadian oil is beginning to collapse," Button said. The Canadian dollar ended the session at C$1.1233 to the U.S. dollar, or 89.02 U.S. cents, unchanged from its Thursday North American session close. Button said he sees no end to the loonie's weakness, and expects it to end the year at around C$1.15, or 87 U.S. cents. The Canadian currency had strengthened on Wednesday after a Bank of Canada statement dropped a reference to neutrality on interest rates. But investors were unable to get more clarity from the central bank because a scheduled news conference was canceled after a gunman shot dead a soldier at the National War Memorial in Ottawa and gunfire erupted inside parliament. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz is now set to testify at the Senate banking committee on Oct. 29. His testimony had been scheduled for Thursday but was canceled due to the shootings. Jack Spitz, managing director of foreign exchange at National Bank Financial, also said the loonie's likely trajectory was towards further weakness. "Crude is turned down, as is natural gas, 1 to 1.5 percent and that price action is likely to weigh on a currency like Canada, so we expect (the Canadian dollar to weaken) a bit off the C$1.12s back into the middle of the range, C$1.1220 to C$1.1240," he said. Global stock markets looked headed for their strongest week of the year on Friday following reassuring company results, encouraging data from the world's biggest economies and signs the European Central Bank is upping its efforts to stimulate the European economy. Canadian government bond prices were mixed, with the two-year up half a Canadian cent to yield 1.003 percent and the benchmark 10-year slipped 7 Canadian cents to yield 2.009 percent. (Additional reporting by Andrea Hopkins; Editing by Peter Galloway and James Dalgleish)
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