CANADA FX DEBT-C$ strengthens, fuelled by U.S. budget hopes

Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:41am EST

* C$ at C$0.9984 vs US$, or $1.0016
    * U.S. lawmakers offer resolution hope for fiscal cliff
    * C$ seen trading between C$0.9939 and C$1.0018
    * Bond yields rise

    By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Canada's dollar strengthened
against the greenback on Monday, touching its strongest level in
more than a week as optimism U.S. lawmakers would find a
resolution to its fiscal crunch helped lift riskier assets.
    The currency has been tracking equity markets, which
recovered some of its sharp losses last week amid signs the
United States will avert the $600 billion in automatic tax
increases and spending cuts set to kick in in January that could
send the economy back into recession. 
    "I think there is optimism in the market that the fiscal
cliff negotiations are proceeding well. So that's provided a
lift to markets," said Camilla Sutton, chief currency strategist
at Scotiabank.
    The commodities-linked Canadian dollar was also helped by
firmer commodity prices, with oil, gold and copper all rising
partly on U.S. budget hopes.   
    At 8:18 a.m. (1318 GMT), the Canadian dollar was
trading at C$0.9984 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0016, firmer than
Friday's North American finished at C$1.0010, or 99.90 U.S.
cents.
    The currency was seen trading between C$0.9939, which is a
100-day moving average, and C$1.0018, said Sutton.
    The currency's performance was somewhat mixed against its
counterparts. It was stronger than the euro, but was
underperforming its fellow resource-linked currencies, the
Australian and New Zealand dollars.
    Looking ahead this week, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
Bernanke is set to speak on Tuesday, which could turn market
focus toward Fed policy. 
    "I think over the last couple of weeks, the markets have had
tunnel vision on fiscal cliff issues," said Sutton.
    "If the market sentiment is shifting for the fiscal cliff, I
think what it does is opens the opportunity for things like Fed
policy, which is U.S. dollar bearish, to come to the forefront."
    Trading is expected slow as the week progresses as well,
with the U.S. celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday.
    Prices for Canadian government debt were lower across the
curve, with the two-year bond shedding 3 Canadian
cent to yield 1.084 percent and the benchmark 10-year bond
 falling 23 Canadian cents to yield 1.720 percent.
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