September 23, 2011 / 8:40 PM / 6 years ago

C$ slightly weaker, down 5 percent on week

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar closed slightly weaker against its U.S. counterpart on Friday, capping a week of dramatic losses in which global fears pushed the currency 5 percent lower against the safe-haven greenback.

Like global stocks, the Canadian dollar seesawed in a jittery market worried about the growing possibility that Greece will default.

The move capped a tumultuous week in financial markets that saw major equity indexes -- which often influence the Canadian dollar -- down more than 5 percent.

Statements by policy makers suggesting more action will be taken to ease the euro zone debt crisis failed to calm investors.

“If we do not see anything forthcoming (from policymakers) over the weekend, then I expect this to pick back up on Monday where we’re seeing people buying U.S. dollars and selling equities,” said Andrew Busch, global currency strategist at BMO Capital Markets.

“It is an extremely volatile market. The underlying dynamics of this to me mean that it’s not going to be solved any time soon.”

The Canadian dollar ended the North American session at C$1.0294 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.14 U.S. cents, below Thursday’s close at C$1.0274 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.33 U.S. cents.

The currency lost about 5 percent, or 5 U.S. cents, in the week, down from last Friday’s close of C$0.9790 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0215.

Several stock markets, including the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE and global stocks as measured by the MSCI All-Country index .MIWD00000PUS were in bear market territory -- defined as a fall of 20 percent or more from the peak.

The commodity-linked Canadian dollar tends to trade in line with other risky investments like stock markets, while the liquidity of the U.S. dollar and U.S. Treasuries attract safe-haven flows.

Bond prices were lower. The two-year Canadian government bond was down 6 Canadian cents to yield 0.863 percent, while the 10-year bond fell 45 Canadian cents to yield 2.072 percent.

Bond prices had rallied early in the session. The yield on the Canadian government 10-year bond at one point sank to 1.99 percent, a low not reached in Bank of Canada records going back to 1951. The 30-year bond also hit a multi-decade low of 2.64 percent.

Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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