CANADA FX DEBT-C$ hits 6-week low as Fed pullback still expected
* C$ at C$1.0473 vs US$, or 95.48 U.S. cents * Most on FOMC say reducing stimulus not yet appropriate * Market maintains expectation of tapering in September By Solarina Ho TORONTO, Aug 21 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened to a six-week low against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday after the release of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's July policy meeting failed to change market expectations that the Fed will begin scaling back its stimulus program in September. The minutes showed that a few members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said it might soon be time to slow the pace of the central bank's bond-buying program "somewhat", but others counseled patience. Almost all of the 12 FOMC members agreed that reducing stimulus was not yet appropriate. The report offered little new insight on when the U.S. central bank might cut back its purchases, and the market stuck to the view that the pullback would start in September, which pushed up the greenback. The Canadian dollar finished Wednesday's session at C$1.0473 versus the greenback, or 95.48 U.S. cents, sharply weaker than Tuesday's North American close of C$1.0389, or 96.26 U.S. cents. The dollar index, which measures the U.S. dollar against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.5 percent to 81.308. The Canadian dollar traded as soft as C$1.0483, its weakest level since July 10. "That's on U.S. dollar strength," said Derek Holt, vice president of economics at Scotiabank. "I think the trend is U.S. dollar strengthening, CAD weakening off into next year, but I think the bumpy pattern over the next few weeks is going to take a little bit of the strength out of the U.S. dollar if the Fed doesn't taper in September." Holt, who expects the Fed to move in December, said there was much more uncertainty reflected in the July minutes than in June's. Growth-linked currencies extended losses as global equity markets came under pressure, but the Canadian dollar still outperformed its sister commodity currencies: the Australian and New Zealand dollars. The price of Canadian government debt was mostly lower across the maturity curve. The two-year bond was off 5.3 Canadian cents to yield 1.216 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond fell 58 Canadian cents to yield 2.755 percent. The yields on the 10-, 20- and 30-year bonds all touched their highest levels in more than two years.
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