CANADA FX DEBT-C$ strengthens on Fed comments, China growth
* C$ at C$0.9587 to U.S. dollar, or $1.0431
* Strong Chinese GDP data gives initial support
* Bernanke comments on possible easing add to momentum
* Commodities also jump on Fed, data
* Bond prices lower across the curve
By Trish Nixon
TORONTO, July 13 (Reuters) - Canada's dollar rose sharply against the greenback on Wednesday, after comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and positive Chinese economic data soothed investors jittery over the euro zone debt crisis.
Bernanke said the central bank is ready to ease monetary policy further if the economy weakens and inflation moves lower, suggesting policymakers are actively mulling further stimulus. [MKTS/GLOB]
"Even the mention of potentially more moves has weakened the U.S. dollar dramatically across the board," said Firas Askari, head of foreign exchange trading at BMO Capital Markets.
"The little flight to quality the U.S. dollar has had out of all the European news has now gone the other way."
Earlier, data showed China's economy grew faster than expected in the second quarter, which initially boosted investor appetite for riskier assets. [ID:nL3E7ID0AS]
Commodity prices soared, helping drive Canadian dollar gains. Canada relies heavily on resource exports and its currency is affected by swings in their prices.
The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies Index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, was up 1.66 percent.
At 11:45 a.m. (1545 GMT), the currency CAD=D4 stood at C$0.9587 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0431, up from Tuesday's North American finish at C$0.9662, or $1.0350.
It earlier rose as high as C$0.9578 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0441, its strongest level since July 8.
Askari said he expects the Canadian dollar to continue to meet resistance around C$0.95 through the summer and until there is some resolution of global uncertainties.
"The only headwinds that the Canadian economy is facing are nondomestic in nature. I think if we see some sort of stabilization on the global scale you are going to see monetary policy shift here and probably shift relatively quickly."
A tightening of monetary policy by the Bank of Canada would likely help attract foreign capital, and drive the Canadian dollar higher.
A Reuters survey published on Wednesday found forecasters expect the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates sometime in the fourth quarter as a sturdy, if unspectacular, domestic recovery offsets global headwinds. [CA/POLL]
Bonds prices were lower across the curve as investors moved back into riskier assets.
The Canadian two year bond CA2YT=RR fell 9 cents to yield 1.492 percent, while the 10-year bond CA10YT=RR was off 63 cents, yielding 2.967 percent.
Canadian bonds mostly underperformed U.S. Treasuries, with the Canadian 10-year yield 2.4 basis points above its U.S. counterpart, compared with 1.8 basis points higher yesterday. (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)
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