CANADA FX DEBT-C$ firms, bonds fall as equity markets climb

Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:43am EDT
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* Positive Citigroup memo renews risk appetite

* Canadian dollar rebounds from Sept 2004 low

* Bonds lower as stocks gain (Adds details)

TORONTO, March 10 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar rose against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday morning, helped in part by slightly higher oil prices and by an upturn in global equity markets after recent weakness.

The rise comes after the Canadian unit fell on Monday to its lowest level versus the U.S. dollar since September 2004 as economic gloom prompted investors to sell riskier assets.

But risk appetite returned on Tuesday as global banking fears were assuaged by news that the chief executive of financial giant Citigroup told employees in a memo that the bank was profitable in the first two months of 2009 and was "confident" about its capital strength after tough internal stress tests.

The memo was enough to lift sentiment across global stocks and helped the Canadian dollar touch a session high at C$1.2780 to the U.S. dollar, or 78.25 U.S. cents.

At 9:30 a.m. (1330 GMT), the Canadian currency was C$1.2834 to the U.S. dollar, or 77.92 U.S. cents, up from Monday's close at C$1.2991 to the U.S. dollar, or 76.98 U.S. cents.

"The tone this morning is for a weaker U.S. dollar," said Michael Gregory, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.   Continued...