November 27, 2008 / 10:42 PM / 11 years ago

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ slips on commodities, bonds up

 * Canadian dollar slips 0.1 percent versus greenback
 * U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving Day
 * Bond prices edge higher in illiquid conditions
 By Cameron French
 TORONTO, Nov 27 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar eased
slightly against the U.S. dollar on Thursday as investors --
with U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving Day -- reacted to
weaker energy and metals prices, and waited for a key economic
update from Canada's federal government.
 Canadian bond prices edged higher in thin volumes.
 The currency finished at C$1.2311 to the U.S. dollar, or
81.23 U.S. cents, down from C$1.2302 to the U.S. dollar, or
81.29 U.S. cents, at Wednesday's close.
 Oil prices eased just under 1 percent to about $54 a
barrel, while copper and zinc prices also retreated, putting
pressure on the commodity-driven currency.
 But with U.S. markets shut for Thanksgiving and market
volumes thin, analysts attributed little significance to the
currency's move.
 "I think today's one of those days where we're just a slave
to the flows because of the holidays in the U.S.," said Steven
Butler, director of foreign exchange at Scotia Capital.
 He said market players were unlikely to make large bets
ahead of the Conservative government's update, which was
released just after the Bank of Canada's official close.
 In the update, the government said Canada's economy slid
into recession into the fourth quarter, but said the federal
budget should be balanced for this and the next five years.
 About one hour after the update was released, the currency
was steady at C$1.2311, or 81.23 U.S. cents.
 Butler said the currency has not been following domestic
economic news of late, but has been reacting to global
recession fears that have boosted the U.S. dollar as a
safe-haven investment.
 The Canadian dollar is down 13.6 percent since the end of
September, despite Canada's relative economic strength compared
to other industrialized nations.
 In fact, the Canadian dollar has often moved in tandem with
stock markets.
 "If the stocks can stabilize for a little while, I think
we'll start paying a little more attention to economics again
versus the crisis," said Butler.
 Canadian bonds edged higher in thin trading, with the U.S.
bond market closed for Thanksgiving.
 Domestic fixed-income prices often follow the lead of the
much larger U.S. market.
 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 rose 2 Canadian cents to C$102.02 to
yield 1.718 percent. The 10-year bond gained 10 Canadian cents
to C$107.25 to yield 3.352 percent.
 The yield spread between the two-year and 10-year bond was
177 basis points, down from 162.1 at the previous close.
 The 30-year bond climbed 15 Canadian cents to C$118.20 to
yield 3.932 percent. In the United States, the 30-year Treasury
yielded 3.622 percent.
 (Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Peter Galloway)

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