CANADA FX DEBT-C$ hits near three-year high, oil supports

Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:34am EST
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   * C$ stood at C$0.9817, or $1.0186
 * Reaches highest level since March, 2008
 * Recent commodity price spike still supporting currency
 * Bond prices mostly firmer across the curve
 By Solarina Ho
 TORONTO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Canada's dollar broke the
C$0.98 barrier against the greenback on Friday to reach a near
three-year high, helped by this month's oil price rise and the
view it is less vulnerable than many other currencies to global
shocks like Libya's revolt.
 The currency rose even though oil pulled back slightly on
Friday after recently hitting two-and-a-half year highs. [O/R]
 "Canada has benefited a little bit from ... its relative
safe haven status, considering all the things going on in the
world -- the unrest in the Middle East and Northern Africa,"
said Steve Butler, director of foreign exchange trading at
Scotia Capital.
 At 9:30 a.m. (1430 GMT), the currency CAD=D4 stood at
C$0.9817 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0186, up from Thursday's
North American finish of C$0.9832 to the U.S. dollar, or
 Earlier in the session, it briefly hit C$0.9795, its
strongest showing since March, 2008.
 Butler noted that the market was somewhat cautious heading
into the weekend and month-end on Monday.
 "That's all about flows and we sort of throw fundamentals
out the window," he said.
 Weaker GDP data from the U.S. could put some follow-through
pressure on North American currencies as the session
progresses, he added. [ID:nCAT005386]
 "Canada seems to be a bit of a safe-haven play, but at the
same time we all know that a weaker (U.S.) dollar in the U.S.
is not good for the Canadian economy, so sometimes we get
dragged down a little bit on those surprise numbers," said
 Canadian bond prices were mostly firmer across the curve.
 The two-year bond CA2YT=RR was up half a Canadian cent to
yield 1.796 percent, while the 10-year bond CA10YT=RR added
21 Canadian cents to yield 3.294 percent.
 (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)