Canadian dollar ends 11-day run higher, bonds firm

Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:58pm EDT
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By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar tipped lower against the U.S. currency on Monday as easing oil prices and lower stock markets caused investors to pause for the first time after an 11-day stretch of gains.

But even as risk appetite waned, the currency held near its 20-month highs. Another day of gains was not in the cards, however, as prices for oil, a key Canadian export, dropped below $80 a barrel and monetary policy concerns mounted.

The Canadian dollar climbed in the overnight session, peaking at C$1.0165 to the U.S. dollar, or 98.38 U.S. cents, but was mainly lower for much of the North American session.

It closed at C$1.0197 to the U.S. dollar, or 98.07 U.S. cents, down from Friday's close at C$1.0183 to the U.S. dollar, or 98.20 U.S. cents.

"The trade is pretty crowded long Canada. It's not out of context to see a bit of Canadian dollar pullback," said John Curran, senior vice president at CanadianForex, a commercial foreign exchange dealing firm.

He said that even though the currency managed to break a key resistance level last week, he's not convinced the Canadian dollar is ready to move out of its recent ranges. He said a shakeup is needed, and that it could possibly stem from Friday's February Canadian inflation data.

Among upcoming economic data, the consumer price index for February is the most likely to firm up views on whether the Bank of Canada will speed up its schedule for raising interest rates.

Decisions from U.S. and Japanese central bank policy meetings this week, attempts to resolve Greece's debt woes and worries that China may further tighten its monetary policy are other factors that could affect markets as investors seek to gauge the progress of global economic recovery.   Continued...