November 28, 2008 / 10:17 PM / in 11 years

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ falls on Canadian political worry

 * Canadian dollar falls 0.7 percent versus greenback
 * Opposition threats to topple gov't raises uncertainty
 * Bonds rise, but lag U.S. Treasuries
 By Cameron French
 TORONTO, Nov 28 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar ended lower
versus the U.S. currency on Friday as the greenback
strengthened, while Canadian investors fretted about the
possibility of a second federal election in three months.
 Canadian bond prices rose slightly on economic concerns,
pushing yields to their lowest levels in more than a decade.
 The currency finished at C$1.2370 to the U.S. dollar, or
80.70 U.S. cents, down from C$1.2311 to the U.S. dollar, or
81.23 U.S. cents, at Thursday's close.
 Concerns that Canada's Conservative government could fall
emerged late on Thursday when the opposition Liberals and two
other opposition parties said they could bring down the
government over its fiscal update, which did not include
large-scale stimulus measures to tackle the effects of the
global financial crisis.
 The Liberals have prepared a motion of no confidence for
possible debate on Monday, although analysts said the market
was not pricing in a serious possibility that the government
could go down.
 "The chatter on the politics might have been a modest drag
overall," said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at TD
Securities in Toronto.
 The currency fell as far as C$1.2470, or 80.19 U.S. cents,
around midday, before rebounding a bit.
 For the week, the Canadian dollar rose 2.6 percent.
 Osborne also attributed weakness to heavy U.S. dollar
buying ahead of the London gold price fix late in the morning.
 The U.S. currency rose sharply versus the euro.
 Canadian bonds rose in the wake of U.S. Treasuries as
worries about the global economy built expectations of further
interest rate cuts.
 However, a strong 5.9 percent rise in Canadian stocks
coupled with the weaker currency kept Canadian debt from
matching the sharper rise in U.S. Treasuries.
 "The U.S. market rallied a lot. We did OK, but we actually
lagged considerably," said Mark Chandler, fixed income
strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
 Yields of two-, 10-, and 30-year bonds all hit their lowest
marks in over a decade on Friday.
 "Overall, the story on why global yields are down is just
continued talk or anticipation of easier (monetary) policy...
and a whole bunch of expected soft data," Chandler said.
 Canadian third-quarter gross domestic product will be
released on Monday. Analysts expect annualized growth of 1.1
 The government said in its update it expects the economy to
contract in the fourth quarter of this year and the first
quarter of next year.
 The Canadian overnight Libor rate LIBOR01 was 2.5000
percent, up from 2.4417 percent on Thursday.
 The two-year bond rose 4 Canadian cents to C$102.06 to
yield 1.699 percent. The 10-year bond gained 21 Canadian cents
to C$107.46 to yield 3.327 percent.
 The yield spread between the two-year and 10-year bond was
179 basis points, down from 177 at the previous close.
 The 30-year bond climbed 45 Canadian cents to C$118.65 to
yield 3.909 percent. In the United States, the 30-year Treasury
yielded 3.437 percent.
 (Editing by Peter Galloway)

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