November 27, 2008 / 2:54 PM / in 11 years

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ dips with weaker commodity prices

 * Canadian dollar dips 0.5 percent versus greenback
 * U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving Day
 * Bond prices edge lower in illiquid conditions
 By John McCrank
 TORONTO, Nov 27 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar fell 0.5 percent against the U.S. dollar on Thursday as investors — with U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving Day — focused on sagging commodity prices.
 Canadian bond prices were lower with tight liquidity limiting trade.
 At 9:24 a.m. (1424 GMT), the Canadian dollar was at C$1.2358 to the U.S. dollar, or 80.92 U.S. cents, down from C$1.2302 to the U.S. dollar, or 81.29 U.S. cents, at Wednesday’s close.
 “With the U.S. equity markets not open, the market will probably focus on what’s going on in the commodity markets,” said George Davis, chief technical strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
 Canada is a major exporter of oil and other commodities, and its currency is often influenced by moves in their prices.
 U.S. crude oil CLc1 fell about $1 to around $53.40 a barrel on expectations of lower demand due to the global economic slump.
 The main event for Canada comes after market close with the release of government’s autumn update on the its fiscal position at 4 p.m. (2100 GMT).
 The Conservative government said recently it will provide an “unprecedented fiscal stimulus” to shore up the economy as it slips into recession. However, it is unclear what measures the finance minister will announce on Thursday.
 “I think it’s going to be a pretty downbeat assessment of the economy,” Davis said. “There’s been a a lot of talk lately of the government returning to a deficit position next year in order to help alleviate the negative impacts of the slowdown.”
 With the much larger U.S. market closed for Thanksgiving Day, Canadian bond prices unwound some of their recent gains, largely due to lower liquidity, said Carlos Leitao, chief economist at Laurentian Bank of Canada.
 He also said bond prices may be influenced by Wednesday’s news that BCE Inc’s (BCE.TO)  C$34.8 billion ($28.3 billion) leveraged buyout was near collapse after accountants ruled the post-buyout company would fail a solvency test because of its huge debt load.
 “People are still trying to figure out what the repercussions of that will be throughout the Canadian capital markets,” Leitao said.
 There was no major Canadian economic data due on Thursday beyond the government’s fiscal update.
 The Canadian overnight Libor rate LIBOR01 was 2.4417 percent, up from 2.2500 percent on Wednesday.
 Wednesday’s CORRA rate CORRA= was 2.2483 percent, up from 2.2390 percent on Tuesday. The Bank of Canada publishes the previous day’s rate at around 9 a.m. daily.
 The two-year bond dipped 2 Canadian cents to C$101.98 to yield 1.738 percent. The 10-year bond slid 10 Canadian cents to C$107.05 to yield 3.376 percent.
 The yield spread between the two-year and 10-year bond was 175 basis points, down from 176 at the previous close.
 The 30-year bond shed 10 Canadian cents to C$117.95 to yield 3.945 percent. In the United States, the 30-year Treasury yielded 3.622 percent.  (Editing by Peter Galloway)                               

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