CANADA FX DEBT-C$ weakens in quiet pre-Christmas session

Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:49pm EST

* Canadian dollar at C$1.0619 or 94.17 U.S. cents
    * Bond prices lower across the maturity curve


    By Leah Schnurr
    TORONTO, Dec 24 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar slipped
against the greenback on Tuesday in quiet trading ahead of the
Christmas Day holiday as investors continued to expect
longer-term weakness for the loonie. 
    There are no Canadian economic releases scheduled until the
new year, but U.S. data on Friday showed orders for long-lasting
manufactured goods surged in November. 
    Stronger growth in the United States, Canada's biggest
trading partner, should ultimately be beneficial to Canada but
the data failed to have much influence on the loonie.
    "There's little in the way of direction," said Gareth
Sylvester, director at Klarity FX in San Francisco.
    The Canadian dollar was at C$1.0619 to the
greenback, or 94.17 U.S. cents, weaker than Monday's close of
C$1.0611, or 94.24 U.S. cents. 
    Canadian bond and equity markets will be closed on Wednesday
and Thursday for the Christmas and Boxing Day holidays.
    There is likely to be more weakness in store for the
Canadian dollar in 2014, said Sylvester, who sees the loonie
hitting the C$1.08 area in the first few months of the year.
    The currency has been hit in recent months by a more neutral
policy shift by the Bank of Canada and the U.S. Federal
Reserve's move last week to begin reducing its massive
market-friendly stimulus. That stimulus has helped prop up the
U.S. economy and its equity markets for much of 2013.
    The Canadian dollar touched a 3-1/2-year low against the
U.S. currency in the wake of the Fed's decision but has since
retraced some of those losses. It has also gained ground against
several other major currencies.
    "There is reason to take heart because this market was
expecting the Canadian dollar to be sold aggressively once the
Federal Reserve began their tapering program," said Brad
Schruder, director of foreign exchange sales at BMO Capital
Markets in Toronto.
    "What you've seen so far is actually a very muted response
to the beginning of tapering, and that has prompted a lot of
investors that were already short the Canadian dollar to trim
some of those positions."
    Even so, expectations that the loonie will weaken over the
longer term are still firmly in play, Schruder said.
    Canadian government bond prices were lower across the
maturity curve, with the two-year down 2 Canadian
cents to yield 1.138 percent and the benchmark 10-year
 down 27 Canadian cents to yield 2.717 percent.
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