3 Min Read
* C$ at 1.0043 vs US$, or 99.57 U.S. cents * C$ firms against yen, Australian dollar, sterling * Bond prices weaker across curve By Solarina Ho TORONTO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Canada's dollar closed weaker against the U.S. currency on Monday and touched its softest level in two weeks, extending a sharp decline on Friday that followed unexpectedly weak Canadian economic data. The currency struggled in the wake of Friday's reports that showed surprise job losses in January and lower-than-expected housing starts. "The Canadian dollar came into this week on soft footing after the employment numbers and that continued to be the driver," said Adam Button, currency analyst at ForexLive in Montreal, noting the quiet trading due to the Lunar New Year holiday in Asia. "The market on such a quiet day was hesitant to try to push through C$1.01 or even to seriously challenge it. As a result, we saw a steady round of profit-taking throughout the afternoon." The currency finished its North American session at C$1.0043 against the U.S. dollar, or 99.57 U.S. cents, weaker than the previous session's close at C$1.0027, or 99.73 U.S. cents. The Canadian dollar was weaker than most other major currencies, except for the Japanese yen and the sterling and the Australian dollar. The Canadian dollar climbed 1.6 percent on Monday against the yen. "Really the action has been coming on the Canadian dollar crosses," said Button. "There's a great deal of focus this week on the G20 and what they might say on exchange rates." With the United States, Britain, the European Central Bank and Japan all resorting to unconventional monetary levers to revive their economies, finance ministers and central bank heads from the G20 group of the world's biggest advanced and developing economies are expected to discuss the spillover of such policies and their exchange rate effects this weekend in Moscow. U.S. Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs Lael Brainard said on Monday afternoon that G20 member nations must avoid beggar-thy-neighbor currency policies and the richest members need to stick to their long-standing rule to let market forces set their exchange rates. U.S. retail sales on Wednesday and a Bank of Japan meeting later in the week will also be potential currency drivers. "There's a lot going on and I think Canada's going to get dragged along with the overall risk sentiment. I think there's enough event risk this week, not Canada specific," said Steve Butler, managing director of foreign exchange trading at Scotiabank. Canadian government bond prices were lower across the curve, with the price of a two-year bond down 2 Canadian cents to yield 1.116 percent and the benchmark 10-year bond down 14 Canadian cents, yielding 1.973 percent.