CANADA FX DEBT-C$ hits 5-week high as oil, gold, inflation rise

Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:31am EDT
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* Dollar touches five-week high after inflation data

* Annual inflation rate surged unexpectedly in February

* Higher commodity prices also help lift currency

* Bonds nudge lower at short end, higher at long end

(Adds details, quotes)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, March 19 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened to a five-week high against the U.S. currency on Thursday, boosted by higher commodity prices and data showing an unexpectedly large jump in inflation.

Statistics Canada said annual inflation jumped to 1.4 percent in February from 1.1 percent in January despite declines in gasoline and vehicles prices compared with a year earlier. [ID:nN19500487]

The news helped lift the Canadian dollar to its highest level since Feb. 10.   Continued...