January 26, 2009 / 10:30 PM / 8 years ago

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ takes advantage of US$ weakness

4 Min Read

* C$ rises fourth straight session; eyes Canadian budget

* Bonds lower as supply concerns weigh; TSX ends up

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Jan 26 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar rose for a fourth straight session against the U.S. currency on Monday as commodity prices were largely firmer and a rise in equity markets diminished the U.S. dollar's safe haven appeal.

Canadian bond prices were lower across the curve due to continuing concern about swelling supply and a firmer tone on stock markets.

The Canadian dollar finished at C$1.2241 to the U.S. dollar, or 81.69 U.S. cents, up slightly from C$1.2312 to the U.S. dollar, or 81.22 U.S. cents, on Friday.

The currency drew support from early strength in the prices of oil and other Canadian export commodities, while the U.S. dollar's safe haven appeal loosened in the face of stronger stock markets.

As well, the market was looking ahead to Tuesday's Canadian budget, which is expected to usher in the country's first deficit in a decade as the Conservative government takes stimulative measures to boost the economy. Late last week, a government official told reporters that deficits over the next two fiscal years would total C$64 billion.

"In the broader sense, commodities are looking a little bit better and you've got some optimism surrounding tomorrow's budget in terms of a fairly stimulative announcement," said Shane Enright, currency strategist CIBC World Markets.

Commodities prices were mixed by day's end. The price of oil CLc1 settled lower at $45.73 a barrel -- after touching a session high of $48.59 [ID:nSYD214552] -- while gold and most metals were stronger. [ID:nN26394720]

With no Canadian data set to be released on Tuesday, markets will focus on the budget.

"The main concern for the market is whether the Liberal Party supports the budget," said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. If it doesn't, Canada would face the prospect of another general election or an attempt by the opposition Liberals to form a coalition government.

Bonds Lower

Canadian bond prices were lower as North American stock markets showed strength with Toronto's main stock index .GSPTSE closing 0.33 percent higher after being up more than 2 percent earlier in the day.

Broader concerns about swelling bond supply, particularly in the United States, have kept prices under continuing pressure over the past few weeks.

"The bond market is just getting swamped with supply right now," said Sheldon Dong, fixed income analyst at TD Waterhouse Private Investment.

Dealers have fled U.S. bonds on concerns about the impact of the large amount of new debt that is expected to be issued in the United States in coming years to fund government programs to stimulate the economy.

The two-year bond nudged 13 Canadian cents lower to C$102.61 to yield 1.310 percent, while the 10-year bond was down 89 Canadian cents to C$110.75 to yield 2.926 percent.

The 30-year bond fell C$1.30 to yield 3.720 percent. In the United States, the 30-year Treasury yielded 3.3734 percent. (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)

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