CANADA FX DEBT-C$ off 5-week high, bonds ease after surge

Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:25pm EDT
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* C$ touches 5-week high at C$1.2192, or 82.02 U.S. cents

* Bonds a little lower after Wednesday's surge

* Annual inflation rate surged unexpectedly in February (Updates to close)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, March 19 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar climbed on Thursday as risk appetite increased in the wake of the U.S. Federal Reserve's plan to buy up longer-term government debt.

The currency finished at C$1.2377 to the U.S. dollar, or 80.80 U.S. cents, up from Wednesday's close of C$1.2463 to the U.S. dollar, or 80.24 U.S. cents.

The Canadian dollar shot as high as C$1.2192, or 82.02 U.S. cents, its highest level since Feb. 10, shortly after Statistics Canada said annual inflation jumped to 1.4 percent in February from 1.1 percent in January. [ID:nN19500487]

The currency's jump was encouraged by short-lived sentiment that inflation concerns would make the Bank of Canada less likely to ease monetary policy further.

But economists said the rise in inflation would likely be temporary and would do little to take the central bank's focus away from an economy in full recession.   Continued...