CANADA FX DEBT-C$ sags on weak oil, building permits data
* C$ touches 80.73 U.S. cents after building permits data
* February building permits drop 15.9 percent
* Bond prices mixed as stocks fall (Adds details, quote)
TORONTO, April 6 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened versus the U.S. dollar on Monday morning, pressured by a drop in the price of oil as well as lower equities and a bigger than expected drop in Canadian building permits in February.
A large drop in commercial and institutional building projects helped cut the value of building permits in February by a far greater-than-expected 15.9 percent, Statistics Canada said. [ID:nN06293340]
Shortly after the data, the Canadian currency fell as low as C$1.2387 to the U.S. dollar, or 80.73 U.S. cents, before climbing back up a bit.
"This was extremely soft economic data for Canada. As much as it wasn't driven by the residential side it's still pretty shocking when you see a 16 percent drop in a single month," said Eric Lascelles, chief economics and rates strategist at TD Securities.
At 9:36 a.m. (1336 GMT), the Canadian unit was at C$1.2378 to the U.S. dollar, or 80.79 U.S. cents, down from an overnight high of C$1.2225 to the U.S. dollar, or 81.80 U.S. cents.
It was down from Friday's session close of C$1.2304 to the U.S. dollar, or 81.27 U.S. cents.
Also hitting the Canadian dollar on Monday was a fall in the oil price below $51 a barrel CLc1. Oil is a major Canadian export and its price often dictates the currency's direction.
As well, the currency tracked global equity markets, which turned flat to lower [MKTS/GLOB], with U.S. stocks pressured by bank shares after an analyst initiated coverage on several large banks with "underperform" or "sell" ratings. [ID:nN06388995]
"Basically the theme is as usual, the market is going to follow what happens in equity markets and use that to determine the price direction in FX markets," said George Davis, chief technical strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
Canadian government bond prices were mixed as money flowed in from equity markets but investors were cautious ahead of another big tide of U.S. issues this week, Lascelles said. [ID:nN06384588]
"From a Canadian perspective, there is certainly some important jobs data and trade data coming up later in the week," he added.
The two-year Canada bond was up 2 Canadian cents to C$100.24 to yield 1.136 percent, while the 10-year bond fell 13 Canadian cents to C$107.02 to yield 2.943 percent.
The 30-year bond retreated 30 Canadian cents to C$123.10 to yield 3.676 percent. In the United States, the 30-year Treasury yielded 3.6801 percent. (Reporting by Frank Pingue and Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)
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