March 29, 2010 / 9:02 PM / 7 years ago

Canadian dollar firms on Greece optimism

3 Min Read

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar firmed against the U.S. dollar on Monday as concerns about debt problems in the euro zone eased, undercutting the greenback's safe-haven luster and helping to boost investor demand for commodity-linked currencies.

Strength in world equities and in the euro came as euro zone leaders last week moved to create a safety net for debt-hit Greece, seeking to persuade markets that the country's bonds and those of other peripheral euro zone economies would not default.

"We're watching the euro as one of the drivers for currencies," said Jack Spitz, managing director of foreign exchange at National Bank Financial.

The Canadian dollar ended at C$1.0207 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.97 U.S. cents, up from Friday's finish of C$1.0267 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.40 U.S. cents.

It rose as high as C$1.0176 to the U.S. dollar, or 98.27 U.S. cents, before paring gains made in part on the rising price of oil, an important Canadian export whose direction often helps guide the movements of the Canadian dollar.

Analysts say domestic factors that have highlighted the Canadian economy's recovery continue to be beneficial for the Canadian dollar, but external factors have kept the currency off the near-parity levels it visited less than two weeks ago.

The next major Canadian data will come Wednesday, when seasonally adjusted gross domestic product figures for January will be released.

Bonds Ease

With global equity markets on the rise and the safety bid reduced in the wake of optimism for Greece, Canadian bond prices were mostly softer.

The two-year government bond was off 3 Canadian cents at C$99.60 to yield 1.712 percent, while the 10-year bond fell 7 Canadian cents to C$101.40 to yield 3.570 percent.

Canadian bonds mostly outperformed their U.S. counterparts. The difference between 10-year yields widened 0.4 basis points to 29.8 basis points.

In provincial bond news, New Brunswick issued C$300 million in bonds due 2041, with a spread of 72.5 basis points over the comparable benchmark 30-year government of Canada bond.

Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway

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