January 14, 2010 / 2:29 PM / in 8 years

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ flat as steady commodities offset weak data

* Nearly flat at C$1.0304, or 97.05 U.S. cents

* U.S. retail sales data pressures greenback

* Commodities little changed, offer some support

* Bonds mostly follow U.S. Treasury prices higher

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Jan 14 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against the U.S. currency on Thursday morning as a broadbased drop in the greenback after weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data was offset by steady commodity prices.

The U.S. dollar reversed gains and fell against the Japanese yen after data showing U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell last month, while jobless claims rose last week. The reports cast doubt about the pace of economic recovery. [FRX/]

But the moves were not massive and suggested some resilience to the disappointing data, said Steve Butler, director of foreign exchange trading, Scotia Capital.

“Although we didn’t get a great retail sales number out of the U.S. it seems like it’s not having too much of a spillover impact on dollar/Canada,” he said. “You might’ve expected we would’ve seen more U.S. dollar weakness but I think the market is saying it’s not a great number but the revision last month was OK.”

At 9:15 a.m. (1415 GMT), the Canadian dollar was at C$1.0304 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.05 U.S. cents, a sliver higher than its Wednesday’s finish at C$1.0306 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.03 U.S. cents.

Another factor keeping the Canadian currency in a tight range were commodity prices, added Butler.

“If you look at the risk on/risk off scenario, stock futures are pretty flat, commodities are pretty flat this morning as well but mildly positive so that’s holding the Canadian dollar in OK,” he said.

The price of oil, a key Canadian export, was slightly higher, while gold prices firmed. [O/R] [GOL/]

Canadian bond prices were flat to higher, influenced by the bigger U.S. Treasuries market where prices added to gains after the surprise drop in retail sales and higher than expected new jobless claims. [US/] (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

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