CANADA FX DEBT-C$ hits highest since Oct, parity talk resurfaces

Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:03pm EST
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* C$ at 97.47 U.S. cents

* Backtracks after hitting highest level since October

* Bonds fall as eyes on supply calendar (Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, March 10 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar hit its highest level in almost five months against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, helped by firm oil prices, the prospect of rising Canadian rates and speculation it will return to parity with the greenback.

The currency reached as high as C$1.0216 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.89 U.S. cents, but quickly retreated as oil prices turned lower. Oil, which held above $81 a barrel, headed lower around noon. <O/R>

The euro was also volatile, traders said, which contributed to the Canadian dollar's hasty retreat.

At 12:47 p.m. (1747 GMT), the Canadian dollar was at C$1.0260 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.47 U.S. cents, compared with C$1.0264 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.43 U.S. cents, at Tuesday's close.

While the currency poked through the C$1.0225 level, its highest since October, the challenge remains whether the unit closes around these levels to signal a sustained move.   Continued...