CANADA FX DEBT-C$ higher as global stocks gain
* C$ higher at 94.60 U.S. cents
* Bonds track U.S. Treasuries lower
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, Dec 22 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar edged higher against the U.S. currency on Tuesday, lifted as global equities gained and investors were reassured by the prime minister's comments about Canada's fiscal restraint.
World stocks climbed on Tuesday, boosted in part by rising expectations of U.S. economic recovery, while U.S. stock index futures also indicated a higher open. [MKTS/GLOB] [.N]
The move higher is in keeping with a broader trend of Canadian dollar strength, but published comments by Prime Minister Stephen Harper also helped to boost the currency, said Camilla Sutton, currency strategist at Scotia Capital.
"On a relative basis, not only is Canada better positioned in terms of our fiscal deficit, but I think we have a more credible plan in place as to how we will decrease the deficit we have. I think Harper's comments just highlight that."
The prime minister said Ottawa will continue recovery spending until 2011, but Canadians can expect five years of belt-tightening, the Globe and Mail reported on Tuesday.
At 7:56 a.m. (1256 GMT), the Canadian dollar was at C$1.0571 to the U.S. dollar, or 94.60 U.S. cents, up from Monday's close of C$1.0614 to the U.S. dollar, or 94.22 U.S. cents.
But markets could be volatile as volumes were thin in pre-holiday trading, market watchers have said.
Also, investors awaited a flurry of U.S. macroeconomic data on Tuesday, including a final reading of third quarter gross domestic product, existing home sales for November and the Richmond Fed survey for December. [.N]
"We get some data today out of U.S. so that will probably judge whether we continue the outperformance," said Sutton.
With no major domestic data on tap, Canadian bond prices followed the big U.S. Treasuries market lower.
The U.S. 30-year Treasury bond briefly traded a full point lower in price in thin volume on Tuesday as stock futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street and sapped the safe-haven strength of government debt. [US/] (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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