CANADA FX DEBT-C$ in modest retreat as oil gain offsets Syria worries
By Solarina Ho TORONTO, Aug 28 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was marginally weaker against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday but outperformed its commodity-linked peers as higher oil prices helped offset selling by investors seeking safer currency options due to rising tensions in Syria. Brent crude climbed to a six-month high and U.S. crude peaked to its highest level since May 2011 as the likelihood that Western countries would take military action against the Syrian government rose. Oil prices climbed on fears that Western intervention could further destabilize the Middle East, one of the world's biggest oil producers. Canada is a major energy exporter and higher oil prices often boost its currency. "Yesterday ...the markets ended up paying a little bit more attention to what we saw in terms of rising energy prices and that seems to have halted the deterioration in the Canadian dollar," said Mark Chandler, head of Canadian fixed income and currency strategy at RBC Capital Markets. "That's providing some offset to the broader risk-off move. When people look at Canada, and they look at it from the perspective of commodities, they have been - rightly so - paying more attention to it in terms of the energy impact." The Canadian dollar traded at C$1.0488 versus the greenback, or 95.35 U.S. cents at 9:17 a.m. (1317 GMT). This was marginally weaker than Tuesday's North American finish at C$1.0474, or 95.47 U.S. cents. The currency was expected to trade between C$1.485 and C$1.0535 for the remainder of the session, according to RBC Capital Markets. The Canadian dollar did make gains against other major currencies, including the commodity-linked Australian and New Zealand dollars , as well as the euro and yen. Geopolitical worries are expected to dominate currency moves, at least until Friday, when Canadian economic growth data for the second quarter is released. Canadian government bond prices fell across the maturity curve. The two-year bond fell 3.9 Canadian cents, yielding 1.185 percent, while the Benchmark 10-year bond retreated 45 Canadian cents, yielding 2.619 percent.