CANADA FX DEBT-C$ boosted by oil gains as Fed caution weighs on US$

Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:39pm EDT
 
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(Adds currency trader comment, updates prices to close)
    * Canadian dollar settles at C$1.3062, or 76.56 U.S. cents
    * Loonie hits strongest since Sept. 9 at C$1.3000
    * Bond prices higher across flatter yield curve
    * 10-yr yield hits lowest since Sept. 9 at 1.092 pct

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Sept 22 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar hit a
nearly two-week high against its U.S. counterpart before paring
gains on Thursday, as oil prices rose and risk appetite picked
up one day after the Federal Reserve decided to keep interest
rates unchanged.
    Oil rose for a second day as a weaker U.S. dollar and
surprisingly large drop in U.S. crude inventories emboldened
investors ahead of next week's meeting of OPEC members and
Russia to discuss supply. U.S. crude prices settled up 98
cents, or 2.16 percent, at $46.32 a barrel. 
    The Fed on Wednesday signaled an increasingly cautious
approach to future U.S. rate increases, sparking a rally in
world shares and bonds. 
    The Canadian dollar settled at C$1.3062 to the
greenback, or 76.56 U.S. cents, stronger than Wednesday's close
of C$1.3107, or 76.30 U.S. cents.
    The currency touched its strongest since Sept. 9 at
C$1.3000.
    It was the fourth straight day the loonie gained ground
against the greenback after having hit its lowest in seven weeks
at C$1.3248 on Friday.
    But further gains for the Canadian currency may be hard to
come by given a weak economic outlook highlighted by Bank of
Canada Governor Stephen Poloz's comments earlier this week that
domestic interest rates will stay low for longer. 
    "The Fed is debating months about when they're going to
hike, and we're looking at 2018 in our opinion," said Don
Mikolich, executive director for foreign exchange sales at CIBC
Capital Markets.
    Canadian government bond prices were higher across a flatter
yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The two-year
 bond firmed 1 Canadian cent to yield 0.571 percent
and the benchmark 10-year rose 43 Canadian cents to
yield 1.101 percent.
    The 10-year yield touched its lowest since Sept. 9 at 1.097
percent, while the spread between the 2-year and 10-year yields
narrowed by 4.2 basis points to 53 basis points, indicating
outperformance for longer-dated maturities.
    Canadian inflation and retail sales data are due on Friday.
The annual inflation rate is forecast to have edged up to 1.4
percent in August, while investors will be looking for signs
that the federal government's new child benefit payments boosted
retail sales.    

 (Additional reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Bernadette
Baum and Meredith Mazzilli)