CANADA FX DEBT-C$ stays near 3-1/2 year highs ahead of BoC
* C$ ends at C$0.9565, or $1.0455
* Focus on Bank of Canada rate decision and comments
* Bond prices lower (Adds details, comments)
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, April 11 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar finished higher against the greenback on Monday, trading near a 3-1/2 year high ahead of a Bank of Canada interest rate announcement on Tuesday and the bank's quarterly report on Wednesday.
"We're just biding our time ... There really isn't too much traders want to push the (Canadian) dollar one way or the other in anticipation of that," said David Tulk, chief macro strategist at TD Securities.
"That's probably going to be the event of the week and probably the event of the month in terms of its currency implications."
A Reuters poll of 41 economists and strategists last week found unanimous agreement that the central bank will keep its key interest rate at 1 percent on Tuesday. [ID:nN07149592] [CA/POLL]
The currency CAD=D4 finished the session at C$0.9565 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0455, firming from Friday's North American close of C$0.9574, or $1.0445. The day's high was C$0.9543, or $1.0479.
Traders will be keen to see if the central bank's comments on the currency become more explicit. The Bank of Canada had previously expressed concerns over the soaring Canadian dollar, which has been trading near 3-1/2 year highs, holding above C$0.9600 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0400.
Greater spotlight on the Canadian dollar could be viewed as showing the bank is dovish on interest rates and in no rush to raise them.
Last week's Reuters's poll found respondents largely expected the bank to raise rates for the first time this year on July 19, a shift from the previous survey, in which the median forecast was for the next increase to be in May.
"If there's any acknowledgment they're concerned with inflation expectations moving higher ... that would be some indication that they're probably going to hike sooner than July," Tulk said.
"(Wednesday's) Monetary Policy Report looks like it's going to have to take a somewhat more optimistic tone than they had in January," said David Watt, a senior currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
"There's general optimism about global growth ... it's a relatively positive backdrop for the Canadian dollar."
Oil prices, which often set direction for the commodity-linked currency, took a backseat on Monday ahead of the bank announcement. The Canadian dollar appeared to largely brush off a more than 2 percent drop in crude prices. [O/R]
Canadian bond prices were lower across the curve, with the two-year bond CA2YT=RR, particularly sensitive to interest rate moves by the Bank of Canada, down 8.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.942 percent. The 10-year bond CA10YT=RR shed 34 Canadian cents, yielding 3.489 percent. (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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