C$ falls, eyes on recent high next week

Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:03pm EDT
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By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's dollar finished lower versus a generally firming U.S. currency on Friday, pulled down by retreating commodity prices.

The currency was confined to a C$1.0650-C$1.0750 range, but was volatile within this band, reacting to movements in stock markets and the price of oil and gold and as liquidity thinned ahead of holidays in Japan and Singapore next week.

The Canadian dollar finished at C$1.0697 to the U.S. dollar, or 93.48 U.S. cents, down from Thursday's session close of C$1.0668 to the U.S. dollar, or 93.74 U.S. cents.

It ended the week up 0.8 percent, after touching an 11-month high at C$1.0591 to the U.S. dollar, or 94.42 U.S. cents, on Thursday.

"It will be very interesting to see if there will be any follow-through and whether the market will be willing to retest that level or reject it next week," said Matthew Strauss, senior currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

That will largely depend on the direction of commodity prices, as well as the "risk-on, risk-off" views of the market, he said.

The price of oil slipped below $72 a barrel on Friday, while gold backed away from 18-month highs. The Toronto stock market's main index fell. The Canadian dollar often tracks the direction of these markets.

The Canadian dollar firmed briefly in the morning after a report showed Canadian wholesale trade rose by 2.8 percent in July from June -- a much bigger increase than analysts had forecast. [ID:nN18247835] It had fallen 1 U.S. cent overnight to touch a low of 92.85 U.S. cents.   Continued...