June 21, 2011 / 9:00 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ closes higher on hope for Greek resolution

 * C$ ends at C$0.9724 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0284
 * Traders watching outcome of Greek political vote
 * Commodity price gains also support
 * Bond prices mostly weaker
 By Trish Nixon
 TORONTO, June 21 (Reuters) - Canada's dollar strengthened
against most major currencies on Tuesday, mirroring rallies in
equity and commodity markets, as optimism grew that Greece will
find a way through its latest debt crisis.
 Traders were eagerly awaiting the outcome of a confidence
vote in Greece's parliament late on Tuesday, the first of three
tests the government must survive to avert the euro zone's
first sovereign default. [ID:nL3E7HL0B]
 "There's a feeling over the market that the Greek
confidence vote is going to go through," said Steve Butler,
director of foreign exchange at Scotia Capital.
 "That's got the market feeling a lot better about risk, and
with that Canada is doing quite a bit better today."
 The currency CAD=D4 closed at C$0.9724 to the U.S.
dollar, or $1.0284, compared with Monday's North American
finish of C$0.9802 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0202.
 Earlier in the day, the currency rose to C$0.9713, its
highest point since June 15.
 Butler said that if the Greek vote goes through, the
currency should trade between C$0.9660 and C$0.9778 on
Wednesday. But he warned it could slip to the C$0.99 area if
the Greek government does not win the confidence vote.
 The Canadian dollar also made gains against other major
currencies, including the euro and yen, on Tuesday.
 "The mild improvement in the risk backdrop has helped the
Canadian dollar across the board, not just against the U.S.
dollar," said George Davis, chief technical strategist at RBC
Capital Markets.
 "What everyone is waiting for now is the vote later this
afternoon in Greece ... judging by the overall firmness in the
euro, the market is generally positioning itself for a positive
outcome in terms of the confidence vote going through OK."
 Canadian economic data provided little clear direction for
the currency. [ID:nN1E75K0J6]
 Retail sales data for April fell short of market
expectations, showing consumers are keeping a tighter grip on
their cash as households remain deeply in debt. On a more
upbeat note, the leading indicator rose 1 percent in May, twice
the rate expected.
 The move back toward risk pushed most Canadian government
bond prices lower.
 The two-year bond CA2YT=RR firmed slightly to yield 1.52
percent, while the 10-year bond CA10YT=RR fell 15 Canadian
cents to yield 2.98 percent.
 Separately, a Reuters poll released on Tuesday showed
Canadian government bond yields are expected to creep higher in
the coming year as an expanding economy prompts the central
bank to resume its rate hike campaign. [ID:nN1E75K0PV]
 (With additional reporting by Solarina Ho and writing by
Jeffrey Hodgson; editing by Peter Galloway)

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