Canadian dollar slips on weak oil, stronger US$

Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:44pm EDT
 
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 * Currency loses 0.6 percent on day, 1.4 percent on week
 * Domestic bond prices fall with larger U.S. market
 * Economic calendar quiet until late next week
 By John McCrank
 TORONTO, July 25 (Reuters) -  The Canadian dollar fell for
a fourth straight session against the U.S. dollar on Friday,
hurt by falling oil prices and a stronger greenback.
 Bond prices, with no domestic data to influence direction,
followed the U.S. market lower after upbeat data from south of
the border raised hopes about the U.S. economy.
 The Canadian currency closed at C$1.0196 to the U.S.
dollar, or 98.08 U.S. cents, down from C$1.0133 to the U.S.
dollar, or 98.69 U.S. cents, at Thursday's close.
 U.S. crude oil futures slid to a seven-week low, in part
due to the strength in the U.S. currency, but also due to a
forecast of high OPEC oil output this month.
 Crude prices and the Canadian currency often move in
tandem, as Canada is a major supplier to the United States.
 The greenback, meanwhile, was boosted by data on U.S.
durable goods orders, new home sales, and consumer sentiment.
 "You've got two factors at work and both have negative
implications for the Canadian dollar," said George Davis, chief
technical strategist at RBC Capital Markets, pointing to oil
prices and the stronger U.S. dollar.
 The Canadian currency ended the week down 1.4 percent on a
combination of weak domestic and European data, lower prices
for key commodities, and the stronger greenback.
 Retail sales data earlier in the week showed that domestic
demand was beginning to weaken under the strain of a slowing
economy, Davis added.
 "I think what's happening now is that people are starting
to say, wait a minute, not only is the U.S. starting to slow
down now, were starting to see evidence of Europe cracking,
we're starting to see evidence of the U.K. cracking, Japan is
slowing down," he said.
 "So now I think people are starting to say this isn't
looking good for the global picture."
 Canada's economic calendar will remain relatively quiet
until late next week when the May gross domestic product report
is released. Until then, the currency is expected to take its
direction from oil prices and the greenback.
 BONDS MIXED
 Bond prices eased in the week's final session, hurt by the
stronger U.S. data and by rising Canadian equities.
 "(The U.S. economic numbers) mean that perhaps the economy
might be in a little bit better shape than consensus seems to
expect," said Levante Mady, fixed income specialist at MF
Global Canada Co.
 "The main thing is that as long as the economic
fundamentals are sort of pointing toward a steady-as-she-goes
scenario, yields tend to rise in that environment, and people
tend to become a little bit less risk averse."
 The two-year bond eased 5 Canadian cents to C$101.07 to
yield 3.145 percent. The 10-year bond fell 46 Canadian cents to
C$103.30 to yield 3.843 percent.
 The yield spread between the two-year and 10-year bond was
69.8 basis points, up from 67.5 basis points.
 The 30-year bond dropped 66 Canadian cents to C$114.02 for
a yield of 4.160 percent. In the United States, the 30-year
treasury yielded 4.691 percent.
 The three-month when-issued T-bill yielded 2.48 percent,
unchanged from the previous close.
 (Additional reporting by Cameron French; editing by Rob
Wilson)