April 12, 2018 / 9:29 PM / 4 months ago

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ steadies vs stronger greenback as Mideast tensions ease

 (Adds strategist quotes, details on activity; updates prices)
    * Canadian dollar at C$1.2589, or 79.43 U.S. cents
    * Bond prices lower across the yield curve
    * 10-year yield touches its highest since March 21

    By Fergal Smith
    TORONTO, April 12 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar steadied
against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday after reaching a
seven-week high the day before, as ebbing worries of a clash
between the U.S. and Russia over Syria boosted the greenback.
    The U.S. dollar        rose against a basket of major
currencies, snapping a four-day losing streak.
    "The Canadian dollar is holding up quite well," said Shaun
Osborne, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank. "We still
think we'll get to 1.25 in the next couple of weeks."
    The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, remained
close to highs last reached in late 2014 on Mideast tensions and
shrinking global oil inventories. U.S. crude oil futures       
settled 0.4 percent higher at $67.07 a barrel.             
    The loonie has also benefited recently from an upbeat
business survey from the Bank of Canada, stronger-than-expected
domestic jobs data and investor optimism over a deal to revamp
the North American Free Trade Agreement.
    In addition, investors have been weighing prospects for the
proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Canadian Prime
Minister Justin Trudeau will break off a foreign trip to return
to Ottawa for a meeting on Sunday with the premiers of two
provinces arguing over an oil pipeline, his office said on
Thursday.                
    At 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT), the Canadian dollar          was
trading 0.1 percent lower at C$1.2589 to the greenback, or 79.43
U.S. cents.
    The currency traded in a range of C$1.2566 to C$1.2623. It
touched on Wednesday its strongest since Feb. 19 at C$1.2545.   
    Canadian new home prices fell in February for the first time
since July 2010 as recent higher interest rates and tighter
mortgage regulations put a damper on the market, data from
Statistics Canada showed.             
    Separate data showed that Canadian home prices were
unchanged in March as the closely watched Toronto market showed
signs of stabilizing. The Teranet-National Bank National
Composite House Price Index, which measures changes for repeat
sales of single-family homes, showed prices were flat on a
monthly basis after dipping 0.1 percent in February.
            
    Canadian government bond prices were lower across the yield
curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries as demand for safe-haven
assets faded.
    The two-year            fell 7.5 Canadian cents to yield
1.898 percent and the 10-year             declined 63 Canadian
cents to yield 2.285 percent, its highest since March 21.

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; 
Editing by Sandra Maler)
  
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