* C$ closes at C$0.9868 vs US$ or $1.0134
* Strong Canadian trade data gave early boost
* C$ hit session high of C$0.9881 on Mubarak news
* Two- and 10-year bond prices lower
(Updates with details and comments)
By Claire Sibonney and Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar rallied
against the greenback on Friday, shrugging off a drop in oil
prices after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down and
handed over power to the army.
The Canadian dollar and other risk-sensitive assets rose on
news of Mubarak's departure as hopes rose that the Egyptian
crisis has been defused. [MKTS/GLOB]
The currency broke through a series of U.S. dollar support
levels and climbed as high as C$0.9863, or $1.0139, in the
aftermath of Mubarak's resignation. It also outperformed
against other currencies.
"Ultimately the market has managed to digest the news
coming out of Egypt, and from a Canada perspective the Canadian
dollar is trading even stronger, despite the downturn in crude
pricing," said Jack Spitz, managing director of foreign
exchange at National Bank Financial, noting that the normal
correlation between the Canadian dollar and commodity prices
has broken down recently.
Oil prices sank as the Egyptian news alleviated concerns
about Mideast crude supplies. The Canadian dollar gave back
some gains on the oil price drop, but only temporarily. [O/R]
Spitz said money has been flowing into the Canadian dollar
as it is seen as a partner currency to the U.S. dollar, which
also performed well on Friday.
"All things being equal, the inability of dollar/Canada to
breach parity from a technical perspective has opened up a move
down to test support through C$0.9915, through C$0.9900 and now
through C$0.9870," he said. "So ultimately the proof will be
whether or not this (Canadian) currency has legs to go through
the calendar bottom of C$0.9832."
Before the Mubarak news, the Canadian dollar was already on
better footing after data showed Canada's trade balance
unexpectedly returned to surplus in December after nine months
of deficits, fueling hopes of an export recovery.
"It does mean the economy is quite a bit stronger than we
thought in the fourth quarter," said Shaun Osborne, chief
currency strategist at TD Securities.
closed the North American session at
C$0.9868 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0134, up from Thursday's
finish of C$0.9958 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0042. It was up
0.2 percent on the week.
Osborne said the Canadian currency is trading in a tight
band that he does not expect it to break out of soon. He sees
resistance in the low C$0.9800 range and support just above
U.S. dollar parity.
"The Canadian dollar is looking quite highly valued against
the U.S. dollar as it is. What would drive us significantly
beyond that point? I think you'd have to see a sharper widening
out in short-term interest-rate spreads in the Canadian
Canadian bond prices were mostly lower after the strong
trade data, while U.S. Treasuries surged as the highest yields
in nearly 10 months attracted buyers. [US/]
Treasuries, which are more liquid than Canadian government
debt, were seen as benefiting more from some safe-haven flows
amid continued uncertainty in the Mideast following Mubarak's
The two-year Canadian government bond
was off 7
Canadian cents to yield 1.911 percent, while the 10-year bond
fell 8 Canadian cents to yield 3.478 percent.
(Editing by Peter Galloway)