April 16, 2009 / 2:36 PM / in 9 years

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ little changed after touching 13-week high

 * Currency earlier touched C$1.1982, or 83.46 U.S. cents
 * Factory sales rose in February, first time since July
 * Bond prices lower across the curve on data
 (Adds details, quote)
 By Jennifer Kwan
 TORONTO, April 16 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was
little changed versus the U.S. dollar on Thursday morning after
earlier hitting a 13-week high on domestic data that showed a
rebound in factory sales.
 The currency shot up to C$1.1982 to the U.S. dollar, or
83.46 U.S. cents, its highest since Jan. 12, after a Statistics
Canada report said on Thursday factory sales rose in February
for the first time since July in part on a slight rebound in
the battered auto sector. [ID:nN17446129]
 "We got a little bit better than expected manufacturing
shipments data for February," said Charmaine Buskas, senior
economics strategist, TD Securities.
 "That was probably the catalyst that pushed it through that
level," she added referring to the Canadian unit piercing
through C$1.2000.
 However, Buskas doubted whether the improved reading could
be sustained.
 "It probably is not going to be a sustained improvement
given that most of the rise was due to the auto sector," she
said. "The reason why the auto sector posted such a good
performance was because there were shutdowns in January. It
kind of tempers the optimism a little bit."
 Also helping the currency were world stocks
.MIWD00000OUS, which held on to gains on Thursday morning
after U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase JPM.N reported
stronger-than-expected earnings. [MKTS/GLOB], while U.S. stocks
were steady.
 "Equity firmness is a reflection of risk appetite
returning," said Matthew Strauss, senior currency strategist
RBC Capital Markets. "That general optimistic sentiment is
supporting the Canadian dollar."
 At 10:20 a.m. (1420 GMT), the unit was at C$1.2030 to the
U.S. dollar, or 83.13 U.S. cents, virtually unchanged from
Wednesday's finish at C$1.2032 to the U.S. dollar, or 83.11
U.S. cents.
 Canadian data that will attract investor attention on
Friday is the consumer price index for March due before the
market open.
 Domestic bond prices were lower across the curve, mimicking
the U.S. Treasury market as Wall Street stocks gained and
dented the appeal for safe-haven government bonds.
 The domestic factory data also kept pressure on Canadian
bond prices, said Buskas.
 "The selloff is really the function of the slightly better
data that we got today," she said.
 The two-year bond slipped 5 Canadian cents at C$100.21 to
yield 1.149 percent, while the 10-year bond retreated 20
Canadian cents to C$106.85 to yield 2.960 percent.
 The 30-year bond pulled back 70 Canadian cents at C$122.45
to yield 3.708 percent. In the United States, the 30-year
treasury yielded 3.7069 percent.
 (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Frank McGurty)

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