CANADA FX DEBT-C$ eases slightly ahead of Bank of Canada speech
(Updates with fresh details, comments, closing figures) * Canadian dollar at C$1.2517 or 79.89 U.S. cents * Bond prices mostly lower across the maturity curve By Solarina Ho TORONTO, March 25 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was marginally softer against its U.S counterpart on Wednesday, ahead of a much anticipated speech by Bank of Canada Governor, Stephen Poloz, on Thursday, and despite higher oil prices and a softer greenback. With little domestic data to drive direction this week, market participants have been focusing on Poloz's upcoming speech, as well as comments this afternoon from deputy governor Tim Lane. Lane's speech, which reiterated the Bank's previously stated economic views, failed to move the currency. "All things equal, nothing ground breaking, nothing earth shattering in his speech," said Jack Spitz, managing director of foreign exchange at National Bank Financial. Spitz said the market will be keenly focused on Poloz, who has moved the Canadian dollar on several occasions with his comments about the central bank's monetary policy direction and its outlook on the economy. "When he speaks it will be commanding the market's attention, at least from the Canadian dollar perspective," he said, adding that for now, "the Canadian dollar continues to oscillate around 80 cents." The Canadian dollar, finished the session at C$1.2517 to the greenback, or 79.89 U.S. cents, a very modest retreat from Tuesday's close of C$1.2501, or 79.99 U.S. cents. In the very near term, the currency will likely trade between C$1.2410 and C$1.2550, Spitz said, with the next notable levels being C$1.2350 and C$1.26. Earlier in the session, data showed U.S. business investment spending plans fell for a sixth straight month in February, likely pulled lower by weak global demand and the rallying U.S. dollar. The greenback fell on the report, the latest to suggest economic growth has slowed and could prompt economists to further scale back first-quarter growth forecasts. "(The weak U.S. dollar's) helped the Canadian dollar perform pretty well, along with most other currencies and you've got oil prices coming back to some extent. Still weak, but well off our lows," said Benjamin Reitzes, senior economist and foreign exchange strategist at BMO Capital Markets. Canadian government bond prices were mostly lower across the maturity curve, with the two-year down 7 Canadian cent to yield 0.503 percent and the benchmark 10-year up 35 Canadian cents to yield 1.340 percent. (Editing by Andrew Hay)
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