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* Canadian dollar edges up to 97.37 U.S. cents
* C$ touches highest level in more than 7 weeks
* Bonds mixed
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, March 9 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar rallied to turn slightly higher versus the U.S. dollar on Tuesday afternoon as the price of oil pared earlier losses and North American equity markets offered a mixed performance.
There was some cautious movement on stock markets, often a barometer of risk appetite for the Canadian dollar. [.TO] [.DJI] [.N]
A steady drumbeat of corporate news lifted specific stocks on the anniversary of U.S. markets hitting 12-year closing lows, while in Toronto, the main index was down moderately on weakness in resource issues.
Still, the commodity-linked currency bloc of the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars was a strong performer on Tuesday, even as prices of resources took on a weaker tone. The price of oil, a key Canadian export, was trading around $81 a barrel. CLc1 [O/R]
"The currency landscape is reflecting a mixed bag today. Typically the market trades based on risk elements but risk itself is uneven," said Jack Spitz, managing director of foreign exchange at National Bank Financial.
"And yet, despite that, commodity currencies are leading the price valuation today."
The Canadian currency is on track for an eighth straight higher close. It has risen sharply on evidence that the domestic economy is recovering and on a slightly more hawkish tone from the Bank of Canada.
It has largely traded in a C$1.0250-C$1.0350 range recently, though it briefly advanced to its highest level in more than seven week at C$1.0235 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.70 U.S. cents, early Tuesday afternoon.
At 3:15 p.m. (2015 GMT), the currency was at C$1.0270 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.37 U.S. cents, up from C$1.0276 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.31 U.S. cents, at Monday's close.
Bond prices were mixed, following a U.S. three-year note auction, with the short-end on the rise while the longer-dated issues remained in negative territory.
The two-year Canadian government bond CA2YT=RR was up 4 Canadian cents at C$99.96 to yield 1.520 percent, while the 10-year bond CA10YT=RR dipped 2 Canadian cents to C$101.83 to yield 3.516 percent. (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)