CANADA FX DEBT-C$ higher but weak U.S. data crimps gain

Tue May 19, 2009 10:13am EDT
 
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 * C$ hits overnight high of 86.60 U.S. cents
 * Weak U.S. housing data eats away at C$'s gain
 * Bond prices lower across the curve
 (Adds details)
 By Frank Pingue
 TORONTO, May 19 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was higher
versus the greenback on Tuesday as an upbeat tone in Canadian
equities gave a boost to the commodity-based currency, but it
returned some of its overnight gains after weak housing U.S.
data sapped risk appetite.
 Canada's currency was dragged from its overnight high after
data showed a steep drop in U.S. housing starts in April, which
rekindled worries that the worst of the global financial crisis
may not have passed. [ID:nN18349440]
 The currency got support from a surge Toronto's key stock
index at the market open as Canadian stocks played catch-up
with a gain in U.S. equities on Monday, when Canadian markets
were closed for a holiday.
 "It's all the risk aversion theme, all equity markets, and
I think that the FX markets in general will continue to derive
their direction from stocks," said George Davis, chief
technical strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
 "But the mood has been spoiled a little bit by the housing
starts data in the U.S. because they came out weaker than
expected ... but if stocks are able to rally we should see (the
U.S. dollar) sell off as risk aversion decreases."
 At 9:50 a.m. (1350 GMT), the Canadian unit was at C$1.1583
to the U.S. dollar, or 86.33 U.S. cents, up from C$1.1791 to
the U.S. dollar, or 84.81 U.S. cents, at Friday's close.
 The Canadian dollar rallied as high as C$1.1548 to the U.S.
dollar, or 86.60 U.S. cents, overnight, its highest level since
May 12.
 Canada's currency fell 2.5 percent last week and ended a
string of nine straight weekly gains. But some experts have
warned that just like its surge from a four-year low in early
March, the Canadian dollar's drop last week may have been a
touch overdone and could set it up for more gains.
 BONDS PRICES SLIDE
 Canadian bond prices were lower across the curve in a
delayed reaction to Monday's activity, when the U.S. Treasury
market fell on hopes that the recession was easing, which
lessened the appetite for more secure government debt.
 But moves were limited ahead of key Canadian consumer price
index data due on Wednesday and the March retail sales report
on Friday.
 The benchmark two-year Canadian government bond was down 3
Canadian cents at C$100.29 to yield 1.107 percent, while the
10-year bond was off 41 Canadian cents at C$105.12 to yield
3.151 percent.
 The 30-year bond slipped 80 Canadian cents to C$118.65 to
yield 3.900 percent.
  (Editing by Peter Galloway)