CANADA FX DEBT-C$ holds steady on U.S. fiscal deal hopes
* C$ at $0.9915 vs US$, or $1.0086 * U.S. lawmakers hope budget deal can be reached * Bond prices mixed * Global equity markets and commodity prices rise By Solarina Ho TORONTO, Nov 29 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar moved higher against the U.S. dollar on Thursday after encouraging comments from U.S. lawmakers that a fiscal deal could be reached lifted investor sentiment. The "fiscal cliff", in which $600 million spending cuts and tax increases are set to kick in early 2013 unless Congress brokers a deal, is one of the biggest risks facing the markets in the final weeks of the year. Both U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, and President Barack Obama expressed their hopes on Wednesday that a resolution to avoid the cliff could be reached. "Anything that would remove that uncertainty from the market is going to be risk on, so that's good for Canada," said Don Mikolich, executive director, foreign exchange sales at CIBC World Markets, referring to the U.S. comments. The news also helped push world shares to a three-week high and buoyed commodity prices, two factors which can also help drive Canadian dollar direction. At 8:09 a.m., the Canadian dollar was trading at C$0.9915 against the U.S. dollar, or $1.0086. This was slightly firmer than Wednesday's session close at C$0.9919, or $1.0082. Canada's performance was mixed against other major currencies. It was outperforming the Australian dollar and the Japanese yen, but underperforming the euro and New Zealand dollar. Mikolich said the currency was likely to remain in a very tight range, but could break through C$0.99 during the session and move toward the C$0.9875 level. He added that recent news that a deal was reached on Greek debt was also positive for Canada. A slew of "tier-two" Canadian economic data was not expected to drive markets. Prices for Canadian government debt were mixed, with the two-year bond up half a Canadian cent to yield 1.090 percent and the benchmark 10-year bond easing back 2 Canadian cents to yield 1.720 percent.
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