* Canadian dollar firms to C$0.9773, or $1.0232
* Bonds mixed across the curve
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, March 24 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, supported by stronger oil prices, the euro and ahead of an expected no-confidence motion that will likely bring down the federal government.
Canada's minority Conservative government was set to fall on Friday following opposition charges of incompetence and questionable ethics and after the opposition rejected the government's budget plan.
If the opposition does bring down the government, it would result in an election by early May, but one that might not change the political landscape dramatically. [ID:nN23287439] [ID:nN23200321]
"I think the market went long dollar just on the political risk and I think the worst-case scenario that's going to happen is there's going to be another election and we're going to get a minority government, which is what we have right now," said David Bradley, director of foreign exchange trading at Scotia Capital.
"There's a possibility the Conservatives might win a majority, so I think if that's the case, the C$ should strengthen," he said, adding that there was still a possibility the opposition NDP and the Conservatives could hash out a resolution to prevent an election.
Bradley also noted that some traders exited their positions because the USD/CAD failed to rally after Tuesday's budget.
U.S. crude prices ticked higher amid a decline in U.S. gasoline stockpiles, which helped the commodity-linked Canadian dollar. [O/R]
The Canadian dollar was also supported by a stronger euro, which rebounded as the region's debt worries were increasingly priced in. [FRX/]
At 8:51 a.m. (1252 GMT), the currencystood at C$0.9773 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0232, up from Wednesday's North American finish of C$0.9807, or $1.0197.
With no Canadian data on tap, Bradley expected the resistance level to fall between C$0.9710 and C$0.9750 and the support level around the C$0.9800 range.
Canadian bond prices were mixed across the curve. [US/]
The two-year bondwas down 4 Canadian cents to yield 1.702 percent, while the 10-year bond was up 5 Canadian cents to yield 3.209 percent. (Editing by Leslie Adler)
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