Canadian dollar falls on U.S. rate speculation

Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:23am EDT
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* Canadian dollar slips 0.3 percent as US$ strengthens

* Bond prices rise as investors square books

TORONTO, June 13 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar slipped 0.3 percent against the U.S. dollar on Friday morning as the greenback strengthened on speculation of higher interest rates, while Canadian bond prices rose as investors squared positions ahead of the weekend.

At 9:52 a.m. (1352 GMT), the Canadian dollar was at C$1.0260 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.47 U.S. cents, down from C$1.0232 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.73 U.S. cents, at Thursday's close.

So far for the week, the Canadian currency is down 0.6 percent against the stronger greenback.

"Overnight direction in the Canadian dollar was driven by U.S. dollar strength," said Matthew Strauss, senior currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

The U.S. dollar is on course to record its best week against a basket of currencies in over three years as inflation data came in slightly above expectations, raising expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve might raise interest rates some time in the near future.

Earlier in the week, a report on U.S. retail sales in May came in stronger than expected. That prompted some to say the worst of the U.S. downturn is over. But others cautioned that it's too early to tell and that the retail sales rise may be a blip caused by the rebate checks sent to all U.S. taxpayers in May as part of the U.S. government's $50 billion stimulus package.

RBC's Strauss said he is not in camp that thinks the Fed is about to raise rates.   Continued...