CANADA FX DEBT-C$ ends flat after touching 5-week low

Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:44pm EST
 
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 * C$ ends at C$1.0581 to US$, or 94.51 U.S. cents
 * Market wary of making bets before this week's key events
 * Bond prices mostly lower
 (Updates to close, adds quote)
 By Jennifer Kwan
 TORONTO, Jan 25 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was
unchanged against the U.S. currency on Monday, held up by
steady stock markets and oil prices even though buyers were
hesitant to make major bets ahead of key events this week.
 The price of oil, a key Canadian export, climbed above $75
a barrel, in part because of an oil spill in Texas that limited
crude oil deliveries to some U.S. refiners. Also supporting the
currency, gold prices were slightly higher. [O/R] [GOL/]
 U.S. stocks managed to eke out a gain in choppy trade as
signs U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would win a
U.S. Senate vote for a second term helped allay investor
concerns after last week's selloff. [.N]
 "I think it's a bit surprising we perhaps haven't seen a
bit more strength on the currency because we have had some move
up in gold and also oil looks well bid as well," said Peter
Buchanan, senior economist, CIBC World Markets.
 The Canadian dollar traded in a fairly tight range for most
of the afternoon, after fighting back from a session low of
C$1.0614 to the U.S. dollar, or 94.22 U.S. cents, its lowest
level since Dec. 22.
 It closed at 1.0581 to the U.S. dollar, or 94.51 U.S.
cents, unchanged from Friday.
 The market -- still rattled by China's moves last week to
tighten credit and by the White House plan to limit risk-taking
by U.S. banks -- were cautious ahead of Wednesday's interest
rate decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
 Also unsettling was uncertainty over Bernanke's fate even
though he appeared to be closer on Monday to winning a second
term. His term at the Fed ends Jan. 31 [ID:nN25179778]
 The market was looking for further market guidance from
U.S. President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on
Wednesday [ID:nN25224485], said Michael Gregory, senior
economist at BMO Capital Markets.
 "No one is taking any big bets either way. It's more the
policy and political backdrop that is affecting global
markets," he said.
 "Global financial markets are on tenterhooks. Nobody knows
whether to be cheering or chiding and because of that we have
mixed performance across the board or little changes."
 BOND PRICES SOFTER
 Government bond prices were flat to slightly lower,
mirroring moves in the U.S. Treasury market, where debt prices
fell as steady U.S. stocks dented the desire for safer
government debt. [US/]
 Investors were also bracing for heavy supply hitting the
market south of the border, said BMO's Gregory.
 "We do have hefty supply this week. That's going to weigh
on things," he said.
 The two-year bond CA2YT=RR was largely unchanged, up just
2 Canadian cents at C$100.13 to yield 1.181 percent, while the
30-year bond CA30YT=RR slipped 10 Canadian cents to C$116.50
to yield 4.002 percent.
 Canadian bonds outperformed U.S. notes across the curve,
with the Canadian two-year bond 36.9 basis points above the
U.S. 2-year yield, compared with about 40 basis points in the
previous session.
 (Editing by Peter Galloway)