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