CANADA FX DEBT-C$ boosted by soft U.S. data, firms to 4-mth high

Wed May 13, 2015 9:24am EDT
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* Canadian dollar at C$1.1953 or 83.66 U.S. cents
    * Bond prices higher across the maturity curve

    TORONTO, May 13 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar on Wednesday
hit its strongest level since mid-January against its U.S.
counterpart, following disappointing U.S. economic data that
pushed the greenback to nearly three-month lows against a basket
of major currencies.
    The loonie extended earlier gains that were helped by higher
crude prices. U.S. stockpiles fell for a second straight week, a
sign the world's biggest oil market could be rebalancing.
    U.S. retail sales missed forecasts in April, holding steady
as households scaled back big-ticket purchases such as cars.
Meanwhile, April import prices in the United States fell for a
10th straight month, likely due to the strong U.S. dollar.
    Market participants were hoping for more upbeat signs of an
improving second quarter following a soft first quarter. Both
data sets could fuel expectations the Federal Reserve will hold
off hiking interest rates anytime soon. 
    * At 9:05 a.m. EDT (1305 GMT), the Canadian dollar 
was trading at C$1.1953 to the greenback, or 83.66 U.S. cents,
stronger than the Bank of Canada's official close of C$1.2018,
or 83.21 U.S. cents.
    * The currency hit C$1.1928 shortly after the data was
released, breaking through the recent C$1.1940 barrier, and the
loonie's strongest level since January 15, 2015. Its weakest
level of the session was C$1.2028.
    * U.S. retail sales were flat in April versus expectations
of a 0.2 percent growth. Figures for March were revised up,
however, to show a 1.1 percent increase versus the previously
report 0.9 percent. 
    * U.S. import prices fell 0.3 percent in April, after
slipping 0.2 percent in March. Economists polled by Reuters had
expected a rise of 0.3 percent. Export prices fell 0.7 percent,
compared with expectations of a 0.1 percent rise.
    * U.S. crude prices were up 0.95 percent to $61.33,
while Brent crude added 0.69 percent to $67.32.
    * The Canadian dollar, which was underperforming many of its
key currency counterparts, is expected to trade between C$1.1920
and C$1.2030 against the U.S. dollar during the North American
session, RBC Capital Markets.
    * Canadian government bond prices were higher across the
maturity curve, with the two-year price up 4 Canadian
cents to yield 0.674 percent and the benchmark 10-year
 rising 38 Canadian cents to yield 1.759 percent.
    * The Canada-U.S. two-year bond spread was 10.6 basis
points, while the 10-year spread was -45.9 basis points.

 (Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Nick Zieminski)