CANADA FX DEBT-C$ firms despite weak resources

Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:39pm EST
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 * Canada dollar rises 0.4 percent
 * Currency rise despite weaker oil
 * Bond prices mixed, weak on long end
 By Cameron French
 TORONTO, Dec 23 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar ended
stronger versus the U.S. currency on Tuesday, ignoring weaker
commodities prices as dealers focused on closing out yearend
portfolios in a thinly staffed market.
 Canadian bond prices were mixed, rising on the short end of
the yield curve.
 The currency ended the session at C$1.2146 to the U.S.
dollar, or 82.33 U.S. cents, up from C$1.2190 to the U.S.
dollar, or 82.03 U.S. cents, at Monday's close.
 Following a strong rise in early December, the Canadian
currency has flattened this week, as many market players have
left for yearend holidays, leaving an illiquid market that has
dissuaded remaining participants from making large bets.
 "I don't think anyone's really looking to take a position
right now, it's just a question of tying up positions and
getting the business done that's got to be done before the
holidays," said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at TD
 "There's very little activity going on here."
 He noted the currency had broken through resistance at
C$1.2160 to the U.S. dollar, or 82.24 U.S. cents, suggesting it
may stay above the 82.24 U.S. cent level.
 The gains came despite weaker oil prices and a sharp drop
in copper, illustrating the currency's lack of reaction to
normally market moving news.
 The Canadian dollar generally tracks oil prices, and to a
lesser extent, metals, due to Canada's extensive resource
 Canadian October GDP will be released on Wednesday, with a
decline of 0.3 percent expected.
 Canadian bond prices were split but fairly flat,
outperforming U.S. Treasuries on the short end, and lagging a
sharp rise in the 30-year Treasury.
Canada's bond market will close at 1 p.m. (1800 GMT) on
 The two-year bond rose 6 Canadian cents to C$102.92 to
yield 1.212 percent. The 10-year bond climbed 27 Canadian cents
to C$111.97 to yield 2.796 percent.
 The yield spread between the two-year and 10-year bond was
at 161 basis points, up from 157 at the previous close.
 The 30-year bond fell 25 Canadian cents to C$127.05 to
yield 3.491 percent. In the United States, the 30-year Treasury
yielded 2.636 percent.
 (Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Peter Galloway)