CANADA FX DEBT-C$ holds steady on U.S. fiscal deal hopes

Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:28am EST

* C$ at $0.9915 vs US$, or $1.0086
    * U.S. lawmakers hope budget deal can be reached
    * Bond prices mixed
    * Global equity markets and commodity prices rise

    By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, Nov 29 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar moved higher
against the U.S. dollar on Thursday after encouraging comments
from U.S. lawmakers that a fiscal deal could be reached lifted
investor sentiment.
    The "fiscal cliff", in which $600 million spending cuts and
tax increases are set to kick in early 2013 unless Congress
brokers a deal, is one of the biggest risks facing the markets
in the final weeks of the year.
    Both U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in
Congress, and President Barack Obama expressed their hopes on
Wednesday that a resolution to avoid the cliff could be reached.
 
    "Anything that would remove that uncertainty from the market
is going to be risk on, so that's good for Canada," said Don
Mikolich, executive director, foreign exchange sales at CIBC
World Markets, referring to the U.S. comments.
    The news also helped push world shares to a three-week high
and buoyed commodity prices, two factors which can also help
drive Canadian dollar direction.    
    At 8:09 a.m., the Canadian dollar was trading at
C$0.9915 against the U.S. dollar, or $1.0086. This was slightly
firmer than Wednesday's session close at C$0.9919, or $1.0082.
    Canada's performance was mixed against other major
currencies. It was outperforming the Australian dollar 
and the Japanese yen, but underperforming the euro
 and New Zealand dollar.
    Mikolich said the currency was likely to remain in a very
tight range, but could break through C$0.99 during the session
and move toward the C$0.9875 level.
    He added that recent news that a deal was reached on Greek
debt was also positive for Canada.
    A slew of "tier-two" Canadian economic data was not expected
to drive markets.
    Prices for Canadian government debt were mixed, with the
two-year bond up half a Canadian cent to yield 1.090
percent and the benchmark 10-year bond easing back 2
Canadian cents to yield 1.720 percent.
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