3 Min Read
* C$ at C$1.0898 to the U.S. dollar
* Current account deficit hits record
* Bond prices lower across curve (Adds details, comments)
TORONTO, Aug 28 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar gave up early gains to slip lower against the greenback around midday on Friday as stock markets retreated on weak U.S. economic data while month-end flows also took their toll.
The turn lower came as investors shied away from riskier assets after data showed U.S. consumer confidence fell to its lowest level in four months [ID:nN28358241], helping to drag down North American equities after a higher open.
At 12:20 p.m. (1620 GMT), the Canadian unit was at C$1.0898 to the U.S. dollar, or 91.76 U.S. cents, down from C$1.0856 to the U.S. dollar, or 92.11 U.S. cents, at Thursday's close.
The currency was also knocked around earlier in the session after data showed Canada's current account deficit ballooned in the second quarter to a record high of C$11.2 billion as exports to the United States plunged [ID:N28361847].
"It's not really a huge bit of data and we are at that time of the month where it's all about month-end flows," said Steve Butler, director of foreign exchange trading at Scotia Capital. "But I think we are going to keep a close eye on what happens to equities today -- but really it's all about the flows."
The fall by the Canadian dollar was cushioned by the price of oil, which rallied above $73 a barrel [ID:nSP440141]. Canada is a major energy exporter and oil price moves often have big influence on the currency's direction.
Earlier in the session, the currency extended the previous day's gains to move higher, finding support from firm oil prices and equity markets.
Thin trading conditions ahead of the weekend are likely to prevail and contribute to volatility, analysts said.
Around mid-morning, Canada said it plans to issue a U.S. dollar denominated global bond in the near future. But analysts said they did not see the move as directly linked to an attempt by Ottawa to slow the rise of currency. [ID:nN28386471]
BOND PRICES MIXED
Canadian bond prices pared early losses and were flat across the curve as the weak reading on U.S. consumer sentiment fueled doubts about an economic recovery and helped revive a safety bid for bonds.
The two-year bond CA2YT=RR was flat at C$99.44 to yield 1.287 percent, while the 10-year bond CA10YT=RR was down 5 Canadian cents at C$102.90 to yield 3.397 percent.
The 30-year bond CA30YT=RR was down 15 Canadian cents at C$118.40 to yield 3.907 percent. The comparable U.S. bond yielded 4.203 percent. (Reporting by Frank Pingue and Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)