3 Min Read
* Ticks lower at C$1.0255 per US$, or 97.51 U.S. cents
* Lower commodity prices pressure C$
* Bonds prices flat to higher
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, Jan 15 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar sagged against the U.S. currency on Friday morning as key commodity prices limped lower and the unit pulled back after touching a three month high.
Oil, a key Canadian export, slipped to below $79 a barrel on Friday on the lingering effects of disappointing U.S. economic data, released in the previous session, and expectations for reduced heating demand in the United States. Gold was also weaker. [O/R] [GOL/]
The Canadian dollar also ticked lower as the greenback held gains versus the euro on Friday after data showed U.S. consumer prices rose more slowly than expected in December and manufacturing growth in the New York State accelerated. [ID:nN14198653] [ID:nN15208010].
Despite the slightly bearish picture for the Canadian dollar, the commodity-linked currency was holding in well, said Firas Askari, head of foreign exchange trading at BMO Capital Markets.
"It looks like it's languishing against the U.S. dollar but it's actually doing well against every other currency," he said. He added the Canadian currency is generally attractive right now due to a broader bullish commodity outlook and Canada's fiscal restraint compared to many of its peers.
At 9:11 a.m. (1411 GMT), the Canadian dollar was at C$1.0255 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.51 U.S. cents, down from Thursday's finish at C$1.0234 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.71 U.S. cents.
"You've got two divergent forces going on here: you've got euro selling off, which is causing the U.S. dollar to be bid and technical levels that have been broken in dollar/Canada that argue for a higher Canadian dollar," said Askari.
On Thursday, the Canadian dollar shot up to C$1.0225 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.80 U.S. cents, the highest intraday level since Oct. 15.
Many traders are now watching the C$1.0207 level. If the currency broke through this it would be at its highest since July, 2008.
Canadian bond prices were most higher and moved in sync with U.S. Treasuries, which climbed in Europe on Friday as markets digested a successful $13 billion bond auction the previous day. Treasuries added to gains after tame U.S. inflation data. [US/] (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)