CANADA FX DEBT-C$ gains ground as investors consolidate
* Canadian dollar at C$1.1042 or 90.56 U.S. cents * Bond prices lower across the maturity curve By Leah Schnurr TORONTO, Jan 27 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar firmed against the greenback on Monday, consolidating after last week's 4-1/2-year lows as investors looked for safe assets in the wake of an emerging markets sell-off. A combination of country-specific problems and expectations the Federal Reserve will scale back its economic stimulus kept pressure on emerging markets and risky assets after selling that started last week. "There's some stabilization, but it's very much still a story of quality and investors looking for quality," said Scott Smith, senior market analyst at Cambridge Mercantile Group in Calgary. "So we're seeing the Canadian dollar benefit a little bit from that." The Canadian dollar was at C$1.1042 to the greenback, or 90.56 U.S. cents, stronger than Friday's close of C$1.1073, or 90.31 U.S. cents. The Canadian dollar, which has come under pressure in recent months, touched a 4-1/2-year low last week after dovish comments from the Bank of Canada. Investors' focus will be turning toward the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy-setting meeting later this week. Markets are positioning for the Fed to reduce its stimulative bond-buying program by another $10 billion a month, bringing it to $65 billion a month, said Smith. "Anything in terms of differentiating from that, we'll definitely see currencies move, so if they decide to pull off more than the $10 billion, we'll see the U.S. dollar gain strength," said Smith. The loonie will likely be capped around C$1.10 in the short-term, though a surprise from the Fed could see it strengthen to the mid-C$1.09 area, said Smith. On the downside, the currency should find a floor at last week's lows around C$1.1173 to C$1.1175, he said. On the domestic front, the economic calendar is light except for Canadian gross domestic product for November due on Friday. Canadian government bond prices were lower across the maturity curve, with the two-year down 4-1/2 Canadian cents to yield 0.990 percent and the benchmark 10-year down 10 Canadian cents to yield 2.413 percent.
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