CANADA FX DEBT-C$ hits one-week low, hurt by greenback rally

Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:08pm EST
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 * C$ ends lower at 94.76 U.S. cents
 * Canada to suspend Parliament until after Olympics
 * Bond prices flat
 (Updates with details)
 By Ka Yan Ng
 TORONTO, Dec 30 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar fell more
than one U.S. cent on Wednesday, hit by a broad-based U.S.
dollar rally in a session which also saw thin trading and the
surprise suspension of the country's Parliament.
 The unit moved from a 2-1/2 month high hit on Tuesday to a
one-week low early in the session, with many traders taking
advantage of the shortened week to go on holiday.
 The currency held lower after news that Canadian Prime
Minister Stephen Harper is planning to have Parliament
suspended until early March, giving the minority Conservative
party political advantages but bringing an angry backlash from
a sidelined opposition.
 Political uncertainty tends to be negative for a country's
currency. The Conservatives need support from at least one
other party to stay in power, but no election is expected in
the near future. [ID:nN30224412]  [ID:nN30201394]
 "The Canadian dollar was already weakening ahead of that. I
would say it has been a bit of a short-term negative and of
course it's been exacerbated by the fact that there's not much
liquidity," said George Davis, chief technical analyst at RBC
Capital Markets.
 The Canadian dollar ended at C$1.0553 to the U.S. dollar,
or 94.76 U.S. cents, down from C$1.0438 to the U.S. dollar, or
95.80 U.S. cents, at Tuesday's close.
 The greenback gained across the board on Wednesday, hitting
its highest since late September against the Japanese yen as it
benefited from year-end flows in thin trade and from the view
the U.S. economy is on the road to recovery. [FRX/]
 After a technical point was triggered on Tuesday, market
players took the Canadian currency to a high not seen since
Oct. 20 at 96.47 U.S. cents, but the move was short-lived.
 Thin trading conditions will likely make for further swings
the rest of the holiday-shortened week.
 "It was a little bit overdone. Expectations as to Canada
holding better levels sub-C$1.04 is probably unrealistic at
this point in time. There's not enough participants in the
market to support those levels just yet," said C.J. Gavsie,
managing director of foreign exchange sales at BMO Capital
 "We do believe going forward into early to mid-January we
will retest those levels. If we do see them by the end of this
week it's only going to be on sharp flows that are probably
going to recoil."
 With no major Canadian economic data on tap this week,
Canadian bond prices were little changed, much like their U.S.
counterparts after a seven-year U.S. bond auction. It was the
last leg of this week's three U.S. debt offerings totaling $118
 "You had a pretty decent auction in the U.S. but there's
nothing obviously driving markets at this time," said Eric
Lascelles, chief economics and rates strategist at TD
 Lascelles said the market impact of the suspension of
Parliament had been largely overshadowed by other factors.
 "It's not something that changes the structure or
ultimately the long-term risk profile of the Canadian economy,
the political scene or the Canadian dollar," he said.
 The two-year Canadian government bond CA2YT=RR was up 2
Canadian cents at C$99.67 to yield 1.428 percent, while the
10-year bond CA10YT=RR was flat at C$101.10 to yield 3.611
 Canadian government bonds had a mixed performance against
U.S. issues, with the Canadian 10-year yield 18.1 basis points
below its U.S. counterpart, compared with 18.6 basis points the
previous session. Short- to mid-dated issues outperformed.
 (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)