CANADA FX DEBT-C$ weakens in quiet pre-Christmas session
* Canadian dollar at C$1.0624 or 94.13 U.S. cents * Bond prices lower across the maturity curve By Leah Schnurr TORONTO, Dec 24 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar slipped slightly against the greenback on Tuesday in quiet trading ahead of the Christmas Day holiday, and investors continued to expect weakness over the longer term for the loonie. There are no Canadian economic releases scheduled until the new year, but data out of the United States showed orders for long-lasting manufactured goods surged in November. "It is yet another sign that the American economy is indeed coming back from the depths of poor growth," said Brad Schruder, director of foreign exchange sales at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto. Stronger growth in the United States, a key trading partner of Canada, should ultimately be beneficial to the latter. The Canadian dollar was at C$1.0624 to the greenback, or 94.13 U.S. cents, weaker than Monday's close of C$1.0611, or 94.24 U.S. cents. Trading was expected to be quiet, though lighter liquidity can sometimes make moves volatile. The loonie has been hit in recent months by a more neutral policy shift from the Bank of Canada and the U.S. Federal Reserve's move last week to begin reducing its massive market-friendly stimulus. That stimulus has helped prop up the U.S. economy and its equity markets for much of 2013. The Canadian dollar touched a 3-1/2-year low against the U.S. currency in the wake of the Fed's decision but has since retraced some of those losses. The loonie has also gained ground against some of the other major currencies. "There is reason to take heart because this market was expecting the Canadian dollar to be sold aggressively once the Federal Reserve began their tapering program," said Schruder. "What you've seen so far is actually a very muted response to the beginning of tapering, and that has prompted a lot of investors that were already short the Canadian dollar to trim some of those positions." Even so, expectations that the loonie will weaken over the longer-term are still firmly in play, said Schruder. Canadian government bond prices were lower across the maturity curve, with the two-year down 1 Canadian cent to yield 1.133 percent and the benchmark 10-year down 21 Canadian cents to yield 2.709 percent. The bond market will close early, along with equities. Canadian bonds and equity markets will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday for the Christmas holiday.
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