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* C$ slightly higher at 99.40 U.S. cents
* Canadian bond prices flat to weaker across curve
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar ticked higher but treaded in a tight range Tuesday morning, supported by a weak U.S. dollar and firmness in commodity prices.
The price of oil, a key Canadian export, held steady above $88 a barrel, and gold prices rose beyond $1,400 an ounce, lifted in part by a weak greenback. [O/R] GOL/]
The U.S. dollar's recent decline has coincided with a pullback in U.S. Treasury yields and after Moody warned it could move a step closer to cutting the U.S. triple-A credit rating if a tax and unemployment benefits package becomes law. [FRX/] [ID:nN13105751]
"People are putting it down to concerns about the U.S. deficit and U.S. credit quality, and the fiscal easing that is falling into the place in the U.S. as being seen in a less positive light ... it means that the U.S. has a bigger deficit to fund and its credit is being called into question," said Adam Cole, global head of FX strategy at RBC Capital Markets in London.
"The fact that (U.S.) dollar weakness does tend to spill over into high commodity prices may be offering Canada some support versus the U.S. dollar in particular," he added.
Traders also said investors were trimming positions ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting later Tuesday. [FRX/] [ID:nN13201941]
At 7:55 a.m. (1255 GMT), the Canadian dollar CAD=D4 stood at C$1.0060 to the U.S. dollar, or 99.40 U.S. cents, up slightly from C$1.0077 to the U.S. dollar, or 99.24 U.S. cents, at Monday's finish.
Cole said he is eyeing technical levels of C$1.0140 to the U.S. dollar, a key Canadian dollar support point, and just below parity to the U.S. dollar for domestic currency resistance.
Canadian bond prices were largely flat to lower across the curve, tracking U.S. Treasuries prices that were steady in anticipation of U.S. data and the Fed meeting.
The interest-rate sensitive two-year bond CA2YT=RR sagged 3 Canadian cents to yield 1.678 percent, while the 10-year bond CA10YT=RR fell 10 Canadian cents to yield 3.249 percent. (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)