March 1, 2019 / 9:26 PM / 7 months ago

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ slips after soft Canadian Q4 GDP report

    * Canadian dollar at C$1.3301, or 75.18 U.S. cents
    * Bond prices firm across the maturity curve

    TORONTO, March 1 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar closed
lower against its U.S. counterpart on Friday, after news that
Canada's economy grew at a slower-than-forecast pace in the
fourth quarter lowered expectations the Bank of Canada would
raise interest rates any time soon. 
    Canada's gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate
of 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter, down from 2.0 percent in
the third quarter and slower than the 1.2 percent rate expected
by analysts, largely due to lower export prices of crude oil and
crude bitumen, Statistics Canada said on Friday.
    GDP edged down 0.1 percent in December as a result of
reduced output across most goods-producing industries.
    "It was softer than expected obviously, with the quarter up
0.4 percent in GDP terms," said Nathan Janzen, senior economist
at the Royal Bank of Canada. "It looks like a lot of the
weakness can be attributed to softening of the oil patch. If
you're the Bank of Canada, it's another reason to hold off on
raising interest rates for a while."
    * At 3:58 p.m. EST (2058 GMT), the Canadian dollar         
was trading at 1.3301 to the greenback, or 75.18 U.S. cents,
down 1.09 percent. 
    * The currency's strongest level of the session was 1.3130,
while its weakest level was 1.3307.
    * Canada's economy posts 0.4 pct annualized Q4 growth.
            
    * U.S. crude        prices were down 0.23 percent to $57.09
a barrel, while Brent crude         lost 0.21 percent to $66.17
a barrel.     
    * Canadian government bond prices were higher across the
maturity curve, with the two-year            price up 2 Canadian
cents to yield 1.769 percent and the benchmark 10-year
            rising 2 Canadian cents to yield 1.94 percent.

 (Reporting by Alden Bentley in New York; 
Editing by Sandra Maler)
  
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