January 16, 2009 / 4:03 PM / in 9 years

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ higher as equities rise on stimulus hopes

* C$ up after falling five straight sessions

* Bonds lower across curve; Toronto stocks higher

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Jan 16 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar rose on Friday after falling five straight sessions against the U.S. currency, helped by signs of strength in North American stocks.

The rise came after the Canadian currency touched its weakest level in a month against the U.S. currency on Thursday.

Canada bond prices were lower, following U.S. Treasuries, hurt by the rise in equities.

At 10:28 a.m. (1528 GMT), the Canadian currency was at C$1.2429 to the U.S. dollar, or 80.46 U.S. cents, up from C$1.2515 to the U.S. dollar, or 79.90 U.S. cents, on Thursday.

Earlier, the Canadian currency rallied as high as C$1.2313 to the U.S. dollar, or 81.21 U.S. cents.

U.S. stocks rose on Friday after the announcement of a $20 billion government bailout for Bank of America (BAC.N) late on Thursday helped reassure investors.

“Over the last couple of months, every time we’ve gotten an announcement of a government bailout we’ve seen a relief rally but those relief rallies have been very short-lived,” said George Davis, chief technical strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

“The big thing now is that people are going to keep an eye on equity markets and crude oil markets today to see if these overnight gains can be sustained.”

The Canadian dollar also got support from a rise in oil prices to above $35 a barrel, boosted by cold weather and a dispute between Russia and Ukraine over gas supplies. [ID:nLG581112] Gold and base metals prices were also higher.

Canada is a major oil producer and exporter, and movements in the price of crude and other commodities often sway the currency.

BONDS LOWER

Bond prices fell on Friday, tracking U.S. Treasuries, hurt by the Bank of America bailout, said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

“We’re seeing money flow out of bonds, out of Treasuries and back into equity markets,” he said shortly after the market opened.

U.S. stocks rose on Friday morning and Toronto’s main stock index .GSPTSE shot by 2 percent at the open, but later trimmed those gains.

The two-year bond was down 2 Canadian cents at C$103.27 to yield 0.977 percent, while the 10-year bond fell 65 Canadian cents to C$113.00 to yield 2.671 percent.

The 30-year bond lost C$1.50 to yield 3.559 percent. In the United States, the 30-year Treasury yielded 2.9631 percent. (Additional reporting by Natalie Armstrong; editing by Peter Galloway)

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