CANADA FX DEBT-C$ rises after Geithner comments, stocks help

Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:36pm EDT
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* Canadian dollar up as Geithner's comments hit greenback

* Rising equity markets lend support, oil pares losses

* C$ still relatively range-bound (Updates to midday)

TORONTO, March 25 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar reversed early weakness on Wednesday as the U.S. currency was undercut by comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and by rising equity markets.

The flight-to-safety appeal of the U.S. currency was also hurt by better-than-expected U.S. durable goods orders for February and a jump in new home sales. [ID:nLP953349]

Geithner's comments that were the main catalyst that drew the U.S. dollar into a volatile spin as he expressed openness to expanded use of an IMF currency basket even as he said the greenback would remain the world's reserve currency for a long time. [ID:nN25418099]

Despite the weaker U.S. dollar, however, the Canadian currency stayed in the same C$1.22-C$1.24 range it has been in all week.

At noon (1600 GMT), the Canadian currency was at C$1.2254 to the U.S. dollar, or 81.61 U.S. cents, up from C$1.2318 to the U.S. dollar, or 81.18 U.S. cents, at Tuesday's close.

"Currencies were jumping around on Geithner's comments," said Shane Enright, currency strategist at CIBC World Markets.   Continued...