CANADA FX DEBT-C$ closes higher on hope for Greek resolution
* C$ ends at C$0.9724 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0284
* Traders watching outcome of Greek political vote
* Commodity price gains also support
* Bond prices mostly weaker
By Trish Nixon
TORONTO, June 21 (Reuters) - Canada's dollar strengthened against most major currencies on Tuesday, mirroring rallies in equity and commodity markets, as optimism grew that Greece will find a way through its latest debt crisis.
Traders were eagerly awaiting the outcome of a confidence vote in Greece's parliament late on Tuesday, the first of three tests the government must survive to avert the euro zone's first sovereign default. [ID:nL3E7HL0B]
"There's a feeling over the market that the Greek confidence vote is going to go through," said Steve Butler, director of foreign exchange at Scotia Capital.
"That's got the market feeling a lot better about risk, and with that Canada is doing quite a bit better today."
The currency CAD=D4 closed at C$0.9724 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0284, compared with Monday's North American finish of C$0.9802 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0202.
Earlier in the day, the currency rose to C$0.9713, its highest point since June 15.
Butler said that if the Greek vote goes through, the currency should trade between C$0.9660 and C$0.9778 on Wednesday. But he warned it could slip to the C$0.99 area if the Greek government does not win the confidence vote.
The Canadian dollar also made gains against other major currencies, including the euro and yen, on Tuesday.
"The mild improvement in the risk backdrop has helped the Canadian dollar across the board, not just against the U.S. dollar," said George Davis, chief technical strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
"What everyone is waiting for now is the vote later this afternoon in Greece ... judging by the overall firmness in the euro, the market is generally positioning itself for a positive outcome in terms of the confidence vote going through OK."
Canadian economic data provided little clear direction for the currency. [ID:nN1E75K0J6]
Retail sales data for April fell short of market expectations, showing consumers are keeping a tighter grip on their cash as households remain deeply in debt. On a more upbeat note, the leading indicator rose 1 percent in May, twice the rate expected.
The move back toward risk pushed most Canadian government bond prices lower.
The two-year bond CA2YT=RR firmed slightly to yield 1.52 percent, while the 10-year bond CA10YT=RR fell 15 Canadian cents to yield 2.98 percent.
Separately, a Reuters poll released on Tuesday showed Canadian government bond yields are expected to creep higher in the coming year as an expanding economy prompts the central bank to resume its rate hike campaign. [ID:nN1E75K0PV] (With additional reporting by Solarina Ho and writing by Jeffrey Hodgson; editing by Peter Galloway)
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