CANADA FX DEBT-C$ fueled by stocks rally, bonds edge up

Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:53pm EDT
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* Stocks rally supports currency

* C$ sports wide daily range C$1.2767-C$1.2957

* Market focus on Friday's Canadian trade, employment data (Updates to close)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, March 12 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened against the U.S. currency on Thursday, fueled by higher oil prices and gains in equity markets that improved market confidence.

The currency finished not too far off the session's high at C$1.2791 to the U.S. dollar, or 78.18 U.S. cents, up from C$1.2862 to the U.S. dollar, or 77.75 U.S. cents, at Wednesday's close.

The Canadian dollar pushed as low as C$1.2957 to the U.S. dollar, or 77.18 U.S. cents, overnight, and ran close to that level midmorning after the Swiss National Bank said it was intervening in the foreign exchange market and cut interest rates. [ID:nLB459488]

But the influence of equity markets took over, spurred by some positive news, and the currency rallied as high as C$1.2767 to the U.S. dollar, or 78.33 U.S. cents.

Factors such as better-than-expected U.S. retail sales figures, another U.S. bank trumpeting profitability in the first two months of the year, and relief that Standard & Poor's credit rating cut for General Electric was just one notch lent some optimism to the marketplace.   Continued...