CANADA FX DEBT-C$ weakens on global growth worries, awaits Bank of Canada

Mon Mar 4, 2013 4:26pm EST

* C$ at C$1.0277 vs US$, or 97.30 U.S. cents
    * Global data fuels growth worries
    * Bank of Canada policy statement in focus this week


    By Andrea Hopkins
    TORONTO, March 4 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar ended
slightly weaker against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as global
economic uncertainty weighed and investors awaited a policy
statement from the Bank of Canada later in the week.
    Weak Chinese manufacturing and services sectors data added
to concern about slower growth in the world's second-largest
economy, while lack of progress in forming a new government in
Italy and broad U.S. spending cuts that automatically kicked in
on Friday added to the global economic uncertainty.
    In Canada, a string of weak economic data over the last few
weeks has pressured the currency.
    Traders said they are focused on the Bank of Canada's next
policy statement, due on Wednesday. While rates are expected to
remain unchanged, analysts believe the Canadian dollar could
weaken further if the central bank takes a more dovish stance.
    "The markets are looking for more accommodative language
from the bank. There could be some disappointment if we don't
see that," said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at TD
Securities in Toronto.
    "They've got to soften up the language a little bit more, or
at least recognize that growth has come in a lot, lot weaker
than they'd been forecasting."
    The Canadian dollar ended the North American
session at C$1.0277 against the U.S. dollar, or 97.30 U.S.
cents, softer than Friday's North American finish at C$1.0271,
or 97.36 U.S. cents.
    Canada's dollar has retreated against the greenback since
mid-February, when the pair were trading at equal value.
    It was underperforming most major currencies on Monday, with
the exception of its commodities-linked counterpart, the
Australian dollar.
    Looking ahead to Wednesday, the Bank of Canada is widely
expected to hold rates at 1 percent, so investors will be
parsing the bank's language in its policy statement. 
    Ongoing issues at home and abroad prompted the Bank of
Canada to tone down its more hawkish stance in January, saying
the withdrawal of monetary policy stimulus was "less imminent
than previously anticipated."
    "The more dovish they are in the language, the weaker the
Canadian dollar should go. But the market is looking for some
moderation in the language and if we don't get that the Canadian
dollar could recover in the short run," said Osborne.
    Canadian government bond prices were mixed. The two-year
bond was little changed and yielded 0.94 percent,
while the benchmark 10-year bond was down 6 Canadian
cents to yield 1.806 percent.
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