CANADA FX DEBT-C$ touches 3-month low as Europe worries weigh

Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:46pm EST

* Closes at C$1.0019 to US$ or $0.9981
    * IMF/EU clash over Greek debt undermines sentiment
    * Canada delays balanced-budget target by a year

    By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, Nov 13 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar hit a
three-month low against the greenback on Tuesday, hurt by market
anxiety over the fate of aid for Greece and fears about whether
U.S. politicians will reach a deal to tackle the country's
"fiscal cliff."
    A public clash between Greece's international lenders over
how Athens should bring its debts down to a sustainable level
reignited fears that Europe's debt troubles could flare up anew.
 
    "Risk aversion is still very much driving the marketplace.
That's coming out of Europe," said Gareth Sylvester, director at
Klarity FX.
    "We're seeing a re-emergence of the Greek story once again
... The timing of the next tranche of EU/IMF funding is being
delayed, so it creates uncertainty about Greece."
    Euro zone finance ministers suggested that Greece, where the
euro zone debt crisis began, should be given until 2022 to lower
its debt to GDP ratio to 120 percent, but International Monetary
Fund chief Christine Lagarde insisted the existing target of
2020 should remain, in an unusually public airing of
disagreement.
    Canada's dollar ended the session at C$1.0019 to
the U.S. dollar, or $0.9981, versus its Monday close of C$0.9995
to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0005. At one point it touched C$1.0036
against the greenback, its weakest level since Aug. 3.
    The currency showed little reaction to news that the
Canadian government pushed back its target for eliminating its
budget deficit by a year to 2016-17, citing the impact of a weak
global economy that has dampened prices for the country's
exports of oil and other commodities. 
    "The delay of one year in the return to balance, based in
part on global risks, does not represent a significant departure
from earlier plans, although it highlights the fiscal stance's
continuing vulnerability to global risks," Peter Buchanan of
CIBC World Markets wrote in a note to clients.
    Hopes for world economic recovery were also dampened by a
recent raft of disappointing economic data from Germany. A
survey on Tuesday showed sinking morale among analysts and
investors in the region's top economy. 
    "Germany has been the shining star of Europe, so it paints a
very poor picture for Europe. I think that's dragging down
sentiment," Sylvester said.
    The price of Canadian government debt rose across the curve,
with the two-year bond climbing 2 Canadian cents to
yield 1.075 percent. The benchmark 10-year bond was
up 20 Canadian cents to yield 1.693 percent.
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