November 16, 2009 / 10:02 PM / in 8 years

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ rises as greenback falls, equities gain

* C$ closes at C$1.0471

* Gold prices hit record $1,140 an ounce

* Broad-based U.S. dollar weakness helps boost C$ (Adds details, quotes)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Nov 16 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar climbed on Monday, boosted by stronger equity and commodity prices and a drop in the U.S. dollar against most major currencies.

The greenback’s weakness helped to boost oil and bullion prices, key Canadian exports that often sway the price of the currency. Oil rose 3 percent while gold reached a record high of $1,140 an ounce on Monday. [O/R] [GOL/]

“All in all the theme from this morning -- U.S. dollar weakness and strong equity markets -- has really carried on,” said Camilla Sutton, currency strategist at Scotia Capital.

“A lot of that just came from APEC being the latest group to highlight we’re still in a period where we need to support growth,” she added. “That implies that we’re still a long way from monetary and fiscal policy tightening and that’s given a more hopeful feeling to markets.”

Analysts said a disagreement among Asian and U.S. leaders on exchange rates at a summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum weighed on the greenback. Traders focused on the failure of China and the United States to reach an agreement on currencies, suggesting China may not be ready to let the yuan rise against the dollar.

That prompted investors to sell dollars against free-floating currencies such as the euro. [FRX/]

Canada’s currency finished at C$1.0471 to the U.S. dollar, or 95.50 U.S. cents, up from Friday’s close of C$1.0505 to the U.S. dollar, or 95.19 U.S. cents.

The Canadian currency also rode a rally in North American stocks, with U.S. stocks reaching 13-month highs on strength in commodity prices after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reinforced expectations that interest rates would stay low.[.N] Commodity prices also helped Toronto stocks rally to a higher finish. [.TO]

“It’s a return (to) risk appetite with equities higher and a general increase in commodity prices because of the lower greenback,” said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

Also keeping investor confidence healthy was data that showed U.S. retail sales grew more than expected last month. [ID:nN16507114]

In Canada, data showed Canadian manufacturing sales rose 1.4 percent in September from August in a sign of solid economic growth in the month. A separate report showed sales of existing homes in Canada rose to a record monthly high in October due to record low interest rates and upbeat consumer confidence. [ID:nN16446129] [ID:nN16512084]

BOND PRICES FIRMER

Canadian bonds were mostly firmer, mirroring gains in U.S. Treasuries, which were boosted by U.S. Fed Chairman Bernanke’s remarks.

Bernanke said the central bank is monitoring the declining value of the dollar closely and was committed to both jobs growth and price stability. [US/]

The two-year Canada bond rose 8.5 Canadian cents to C$99.815 to yield 1.342 percent, while the 30-year bond rose C$1.20 to C$117.95 to yield 3.927 percent.

Canadian bonds underperformed U.S. Treasuries across much of the curve. The Canadian 10-year yield was 5.2 basis points above its U.S. counterpart, up from 4.8 basis points on Friday. (With additional reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson; editing by Peter Galloway)

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