CANADA FX DEBT-C$ weaker as economic data clouds outlook

Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:56am EST

* C$ at C$1.0237 vs US$, or 97.64 U.S. cents
    * Seen trading between C$1.0200 and C$1.0260 on Monday
    * Carney speech and conference in focus
    * Bond yields edge higher

    By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened
against its U.S. counterpart on Monday, holding near the 8-month
low that followed dismal retail sales and inflation numbers last
week, with investors looking to an appearance by the head of the
central bank for hints of a possible easing in monetary policy.
    Analysts said data later this week, including a report on
the current account on Thursday and GDP data on Friday, could
add to the gloom surrounding the currency's outlook. 
    "The market's looking for another reason to take the
Canadian dollar weaker at this point and we may get it as the
week wears on," said Darcy Browne, managing director at CIBC's
Capital Markets Trading.
    "It's the same weak fundamentals that's been making the
Canadian dollar weaker over the last week or so."
    The currency touched its softest level against the U.S.
dollar in nearly eight months last Friday after the Canadian
economy registered its lowest inflation in more than three years
last month and the largest decline in retail sales in nearly
three years in December. 
    Last week's data furthered trimmed the likelihood that the
Bank of Canada will raise interest rates this year. 
    Further guidance could come later on Monday from a speech
and news conference by Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, in
which he is likely to be pressed for hints on whether the
central bank could drop the tightening bias it has had since
early last year.
    At 9:12 a.m. (1412 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading at
C$1.0237 versus the U.S. dollar, or 97.64 U.S. cents, weaker
than Friday's North American session close at C$1.0208, or 97.96
U.S. cents.
    Browne said there is natural hedging interest around
C$1.0250, but expected the Canadian dollar to move to C$1.04 to
C$1.05 against the greenback over the medium term. For today, he
expected a range between C$1.0200 and C$1.0260.
    The Canadian dollar was underperforming against nearly all
major currencies, except the Japanese yen.
    Government bond prices dipped across the curve. The price of
a two-year Canadian government bond was off half a
Canadian cent, yielding 1.074 percent, while the benchmark
10-year bond fell 19 Canadian cents, yielding 1.965
percent.
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